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Marco Rubio defends the GOP immigration bill. (image via Andrew Harnik/AP Photo)


Marco Rubio backs Matt Caldwell for Ag Commissioner

Wednesday saw Sen. Marco Rubio endorse Lehigh Acres Rep. Matt Caldwell in the GOP primary for Agriculture Commissioner.

The media release stressed each man’s conservative credentials, a logical move ahead of the August election.

“As the most conservative candidate in the race for Commissioner of Agriculture,” Rubio said, “Matt Caldwell has been an unwavering supporter of the Second Amendment, consistently voted to cut taxes and reduce the size of government, and is a staunch supporter of the right-to-life.”

It’s uncertain what abortion politics have to do with the position at hand. However, Rubio added that “there is no harder working or more qualified candidate in the race for Commissioner of Agriculture.”

Caldwell, “proud to have Senator Rubio’s endorsement,” asserted that he is “working from the winning playbook of Senator Marco Rubio in 2010 when he was the underdog candidate and won because he was the most conservative and the hardest working..”

“Unlike my opponents, I have never voted against our Second Amendment rights, to expand Obamacare in Florida, or to raise taxes on hard working Florida families,” Caldwell said, even as it likewise is uncertain what the connection is between Medicaid expansion and the position at hand.

“As the true conservative candidate in the race,” Caldwell added, “I am battle-tested and ready to stand on principle for Florida’s families.”

The primary election is Aug. 28.

The Rubio endorsement is a key get given the crowded and expensive GOP primary battle.

Sebring Sen. Denise Grimsley, retired U.S. Army Col. Mike McCalister and former Winter Haven Rep. Baxter Troutman are all in the mix, with Caldwell, Grimsley and Troutman each having raised more than a million dollars.


Material from Florida Politics’ Drew Wilson was used in this post.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades, with bylines in national and local publications alike on subjects ranging from pop music to national and global politics. Gancarski has been a correspondent for since 2014, and has held a column in Jacksonville, Florida's Folio Weekly for two decades. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." Gancarski is a frequent presence on Jacksonville television and radio, including fill-in slots on WJCT-FM's award-winning talk show "First Coast Connect." He can be reached at

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