Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam filed paperwork on Monday to run for Florida Governor, becoming the first major Republican to enter the race to succeed outgoing Gov. Rick Scott, who is term-limited.
Putnam will formally announce his campaign at an event in his hometown of Bartow on May 10.
“I consider myself one of the luckiest people in the world because I get to call Florida home,” Putnam said in a statement. “It’s our responsibility as Floridians to keep our economy at work, to increase access to high quality education, to fiercely protect our personal freedoms, to keep our state safe, and to welcome our veterans home with open arms.”
Not all Republicans have embraced Putnam’s candidacy. State Rep. Chris Latvala — whose father, State Sen. Jack Latvala, is also considering entering the governor’s race — called Putnam out via Twitter.
“Today, Adam Putnam announced he will continue to do what he had done for the last 10 or 15 years: Run for Florida Governor,” Latvala tweeted. “If Florida voters are clamoring for anything, it is someone who has held elective office for every day of their life since they were 22 years old.”
Putnam was first elected to the Florida House in 1996 at age 22. At 26, Putnam was elected to Congress, where he served for ten years and became a member of the Republican leadership before leaving to run for Agriculture Commissioner in 2010.
On the Democratic side of the race, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, and Orlando businessman Chris King have announced their campaigns.