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Five Jacksonville City Councilmen back Baxter Troutman for Ag Commissioner

State Rep. Baxter Troutman, in a competitive three-way race for Agriculture Commissioner, picked up a straw poll win at a meeting of the Jacksonville Young Republicans Monday — and scored five local endorsements while in town.

Worth noting: all five endorsers were at the straw poll event, where Troutman and opponent Sen. Denise Grimsley both spoke.

Troutman did have local advantage in closing the deal, as campaign manager Carlo Fassi offered a Duval tie not present on Grimsley’s side.

“As someone who focuses on job creation in Northeast Florida,” said Council President Aaron Bowman, increasingly willing to endorse candidates, “I value the private sector experience Baxter’s candidacy brings to this race.

“The fact that he’s helped place more than 50,000 Floridians in jobs across the state adds serious credibility to his candidacy. That, coupled with his lifetime of experience in production agriculture, makes him the most qualified, conservative candidate in this year’s race to succeed Adam Putnam as Commissioner of Agriculture,” Bowman added

Council VP Scott Wilson also is on board: “Florida’s agriculture industry is facing a turning point. With diseases plaguing commodity products statewide and natural disasters decimating crop production, it’s important we have a Commissioner who empathizes with what farmers are dealing with and has a plan to address this dire situation.”

“Baxter’s plans to help Florida Agriculture are unmatched by any candidate in this race. As a fellow conservative,” Wilson added, “I’m proud to endorse him.”

Councilman Bill Gulliford opined that Troutman “understands the proper role of government and how it should assist, not impede, a thriving economy. He’s thetrue conservative we need as our next Commissioner.”

Councilman Sam Newby called Troutman “the most qualified conservative candidate in this race,” lauding his “agricultural expertise, private sector success, and public service in the House of Representatives.”

“We need our next Commissioner of Agriculture to be someone who understands from experience how burdensome government regulations can be on job creators. As a business owner myself, I trust Baxter Troutman to help create a level playing field for business owners and entrepreneurs throughout the Sunshine State. He’s a proven conservative with the background needed to be an effective Commissioner of Agriculture.”  asserted Councilman Al Ferraro.

“I’m proud to have the support of these Jacksonville City Council members. They are fine public servants with significant experience in the private sector. Their addition to Team Troutman demonstrates the momentum we continue to build along the First Coast. We are going to win this primary,” asserted Troutman.

As is the case in the gubernatorial race, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry has not endorsed here. However, if he were to endorse, it likely would be Troutman.

The five endorsers rolled out Thursday are reliable allies on most issues. And Curry’s chief of staff Brian Hughes was running Troutman’s operation before handing it off to Fassi when he began his stint with the city at the beginning of the year.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades. Gancarski has been a correspondent for since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at

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