Jeff Porter, the three-term mayor of Homestead, is stepping down from his post effective early next year after submitting a resignation letter last night.
That’s according to a report from the Miami Herald. Porter declared his intention to run for Florida Agriculture Commissioner back in January. State law requires candidates to resign before running for another office with an overlapping term.
Porter, who has served as Homestead mayor since 2013, is one of two Democrats battling for the Agriculture Commissioner bid. He’s competing with David Walker for the nomination.
Current Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is competing in the Republican primary for Florida governor. Four Republicans are running for his old job and the right to face off against either Walker or Porter in the general election.
Porter has also previously served as vice mayor of Homestead and spent 10 years on the city council. He is owner and president of World Wide Supply Solutions, a supplier of building materials, which is based in Homestead.
In comments made to the Herald, Porter said he’s running in part to “better represent and fund the southeastern tip of the country.”
“The agriculture industry has just been decimated. Over the last 20 or 30 years, farmers have gone out of business and I just don’t understand,” Porter added.
“This area of the country, inside our borders, is the only place where we can grow produce in the winter to feed the nation, yet we’ve become totally reliant on food that comes from foreign countries. It’s almost like a national security issue.”
The primary for the Agriculture Commissioner race will be held Aug. 28.
Win or lose, Porter will be out as mayor on Jan. 7, 2019. Vice Mayor Stephen Shelley will take over on that date.