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Adam Putnam, Ron DeSantis going after each other by the numbers

By the numbers, the Republican gubernatorial primary may be scoring the themes of who knows Florida, and who Florida wants.

The campaigns for Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis have been throwing around numbers Monday.

Putnam’s campaign went first, putting out a graphic noting that their candidate mentioned Florida 75 times in last Thursday’s FOX News debate, while DeSantis did so just 34 times, and some of those were referencing Putnam’s “Florida First” campaign slogan.

Among the other numbers offerd by Putnam’s campaign: 155, the number of grassroots events Putnam has had in his never-ending Florida tour over the past 14 months, versus “?” for DeSantis, who only started hitting the road in recent weeks.

And 96: the percentage of Putnam’s donors who are in-state, versus DeSantis’s 58 percent, according to Putnam’s campaign.

It’s a theme Putnam has both earned and pushed hard, that he’s been intimate with Florida for a long time while DeSantis has campaigned mostly by TV until very recently.

“In addition to mentioning Florida nearly triple the amount of times than by the Congressman, Adam Putnam is also the leading candidate for the number of sheriff endorsements [45 to 0 by Putnam’s count,] number of grassroots events, and percent of in-state donors. Congressman Ron DeSantis, Putnam’s opponent who is trailing by 15 points in the official Fox News Channel poll released last week, is behind Putnam on each count,” Putnam’s campaign declared in a press release.

But here are some numbers DeSantis responded with Monday:

First, 800: the number of registered attendees at DeSantis’ rally in Fort Myers Monday morning. Then: 1,200: the number of attendees at his rally in Tampa Monday afternoon. And 800-1,000: the estimated attendance for a third event Monday, in Pensacola in the evening.

“Ron DeSantis is tuirning out thousands of suppoerters from Fort Myers to Pensacola who are excited about an Iraq veterana nd proven conservative endorsed by the president,” his campaign declared.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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