Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam will be in West Palm Beach Monday to participate in a Republican gubernatorial candidate forum, but his only opponent in the primary isn’t making the trip.
The Forum Club of the Palm Beaches, which is hosting the event, said both candidates agreed to show up for the April 30 event but Northeast Florida U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis later backed out, citing an “unexpected change in his schedule.”
“This is obviously not an ideal scenario and not what we had intended when we scheduled this event. However, we must defer to the campaign’s decision,” event organizers said.
Still, the show will go on.
Putnam, who has a commanding fundraising lead in race, will address the crowd at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts’ Cohen Pavillion, 701 Okeechobee Boulevard, and then participate in a question and answer session.
The organization will also recognize former West Palm Beach Mayor Joel Daves with its Exemplary Elected Official Award during the event.
Doors open at 11 am, and the event is scheduled to start at 11:45 am. The forum is open to the public, though tickets are required to attend.
Tickets for Forum Club members are set at $40, while guest tickets purchased by members are $60. Tickets available to the general public are $85.
Putnam was the first Republican to enter the race to replace termed out Gov. Rick Scott. DeSantis entered the race in January and House Speaker Richard Corcoran is expected to file in the coming weeks.
Through the end of March, Putnam led the money race with $26.77 million in total fundraising and $19.26 million on hand. DeSantis, who filed in January, has raised nearly $7 million and has $6.5 million.