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Marco Rubio and Matt Caldwell

South Florida

Marco Rubio to campaign for Matt Caldwell in South Florida on Monday

Agriculture Commissioner candidate Matt Caldwell could soon feel a big lift in South Florida from U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who stumps for the Republican in Hialeah on Monday.

Rubio in July formally endorsed Caldwell in his cabinet post run, at the time citing the state representative’s record on abortion and guns.

“As the most conservative candidate in the race for Commissioner of Agriculture,” Rubio said at the time, “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.”

Of course, the state representative’s relationship with Rubio dates back farther. Caldwell strongly supported Rubio’s presidential run in 2016, in fact penning some strong critiques of eventual Republican nominee Donald Trump that have blown back on Caldwell during his statewide campaign.

But a relationship with Rubio, who won re-election to the Senate two years ago with 52 percent of the vote, should bring benefits as well.

The campaign event in South Florida could give a boost to Caldwell just more than a week out from the Republican primary, where Caldwell is in a four-way race with state Sen. Denise Grimsley, former state Rep. Baxter Troutman and retired Army Col. Mike McCalister.

The Hialeah rally will also feature state Rep. Manny Diaz, who threw his support behind Caldwell last November.

The Caldwell campaign also put out a long list of political leaders who endorsed him and who may also show up at the event, including House Speaker Designate Jose Oliva, state Reps. Jeanette Nuñez, Daniel Perez, Michael Bileca, and Bryan Avila, former Rep. Pepe Diaz and Miami-Dade Commissioner Javier D. Souto.

The event at Casa Marin will open its doors at 9 a.m.

The Southwest Florida politician has also picked up the endorsement of the Miami Herald. And earlier this week, Caldwell was also in Miami-Dade County at a candidate spotlight reception hosted by the Miami Young Republicans.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at

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