BARTOW, Fla. – Following major media outlets calling the race, Adam Putnam, Florida’s incumbent Commissioner of Agriculture, claimed victory in his re-election contest shortly after 8 p.m. in front several hundred family, friends and supporters in his home town of Bartow, Florida. Putnam defeated Democratic candidate Thaddeus Hamilton.
“First, I want to thank my wife Melissa and our beautiful children for supporting and encouraging me throughout this this process.
"I also want to thank Florida’s voters for believing in my priorities and supporting my accomplishments as Commissioner of Agriculture. We’ve grown Florida’s agriculture industry, safeguarded our residents, fostered academic success for our next generation and honored American veterans.
"In four years, conservative leadership in Tallahassee cut unemployment in half, paid off $4 billion in debt and put another $3 billion in the bank. We’ve fostered a culture of problem solving that has long been forgotten in places like Washington D.C., New York, Illinois and California.
"Florida can be the model for fighting the big problems that need solving for our children, grandchildren and all the generations who deserve a better version of the Florida we already love,” Putnam said.
SARASOTA, Fla. – Former Governor Jeb Bush joined Adam Putnam’s “Florida Grown” Bus Tour and several hundred supporters this morning in Sarasota for a rally. The day before the election, Governor Bush and Putnam, running for re-election as Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture, reminded the energized crowd of the importance of voting and the lasting impact this election will have on the future of Florida.
“We need to elect conservative leaders who believe in limited government, believe in entrepreneurial capitalism and believe that individuals acting together can create a better America. One of those people we need to elect is a great friend and a spectacular leader, and his name is Adam Putnam,” Governor Bush said.
Putnam encouraged attendees to re-elect Florida’s Cabinet, made up of the Governor, Attorney General and Chief Financial Officer, for steering Florida back into prosperity after the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
“After the New York Times and Time Magazine wrote Florida’s obituary during the height of the recession, conservative leadership in Tallahassee cut unemployment in half, paid off $4 billion in debt and put another $3 billion in the bank. If given another four years, we can help secure Florida’s future – and make sure Florida’s residents have a shot at the American Dream,” Putnam said.
After a successful first term growing Florida’s agriculture industry, safeguarding consumers from fraud, fostering academic success and honoring American veterans, this month Putnam launched his re-election “Florida Grown” Bus Tour. Putnam and the “Florida Grown” Bus Tour will crisscross Florida through Election Day, making more than 50 visits to the state’s diverse cities -- and their residents.
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THE ISSUE: Commissioner of agriculture and community services.
OUR OPINION: Retain Adam Putnam.
The Florida Constitution says the “commissioner of agriculture shall have supervision of matters pertaining to agriculture except as otherwise provided by law.” Over the years, law has added to the responsibilities of that office. Now, the commissioner of agriculture and consumer services is responsible for supporting and promoting Florida agriculture, protecting the environment, safeguarding consumers and ensuring the safety and wholesomeness of food. As the state’s Fresh From Florida website notes, “our programs and activities are so varied and extensive, they touch the life of just about every Floridian.”
As one of three constitutionally elected state executives in the Florida Cabinet, the commissioner of agriculture and consumer services is an important voice for Florida ag business as well as citizens.
Adam Putnam is completing his first term as commissioner of agriculture and consumer services. His background prepared him well: he’s a fifth-generation cattle rancher and citrus grower from central Florida with a degree in food and resource economics. Putnam served as a member of the Florida House, where he chaired the House Agriculture Committee, before spending 10 years in the U.S. Congress.
He’s a strong advocate for farmers, but at the same time advocates strong stewardship of Florida’s waters. He supports Everglades cleanup and encourages innovative thinking on water issues. He travels to promote Florida agriculture and has come out in favor of broadening the state’s energy mix to include more renewable resources. Making the connection between children’s performance in school and good nutrition, Putnam worked successfully to transfer direction of school nutrition policies from the Department of Education to his department, to support inclusion of more fruits and vegetables on school menus. He supported efforts in the Legislature to control predatory practices by nonprofit fundraising groups.
Putnam’s opponent, Thad Hamilton, a veteran and retired federal employee, supports environmentally friendly policies, but Hamilton doesn’t have the background and track record needed for this important post, or the wherewithal to make things happen.
We recommend a vote for Adam Putnam for Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Citrus County Chronicle
Those whose job it is to sense the political winds say Adam Putnam has his eye on the Governor’s Mansion in 2018. But that’s four years away.
Right now, Mr. Putnam sits in a job perfectly suited to him, as Florida’s commissioner of agriculture, and the Democrat’s Editorial Board endorses him for re-election.
After a successful first term growing Florida’s agriculture industry, safeguarding consumers from fraud, fostering academic success and honoring American veterans, Adam Putnam earned endorsements from nine of Florida’s editorial boards for a second term as Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture.
“[Putnam] has a knowledge of the state and appreciation of Florida that is all too rare today in Tallahassee, and he is pragmatic about getting things done,” wrote the editorial board of the Tampa Bay Times.
“Putnam, one of four members of the Florida Cabinet, has helped draw attention in Tallahassee to one of the state's most pressing problems: its threatened water supply,” according to the editorial boards of the Orlando Sentinel and South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “He has a sophisticated understanding of this complex issue, and he has made water conservation in agriculture one of his department's priorities.”
Newspapers that have endorsed Putnam for a second term as Commissioner of Agriculture include:
Democrats have put up an experienced and credible candidate against Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi, though the party hasn’t been much help in raising money. But in the other two Cabinet races, Democrats aren’t even in the game, although they have nominal candidates.
Clearly, it just goes to show that Democrats have a long way to go to make their party competitive at a statewide level.
Only 40, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is a former five-term member of Congress and is running for, and deserves, a second term in his current position.
Democrat Thad Hamilton, who ran in 2010 as a nonparty candidate, touts his expertise as a retired employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture with decades of experience in resource conservation. He’s also chair of the Broward Soil and Water Conservation Service.
Mr. Putnam gets our nod on the basis of delivering on promises he made last time around to better serve farmers, consumers and schoolchildren by getting more fresh produce into public schools. He proposed a new law directing revenue from the commercial tax on electricity to support the state’s education infrastructure. His department also directed funds to urban farmers markets to help food-stamp recipients stretch their resources, and helped funnel more food into food banks. For agriculture commissioner, the Miami Herald recommends ADAM PUTNAM.
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam has a lofty ambition for his office.
The Republican wants it to be a “transformational” agency that benefits everyone across the state.
“We want to be (a department) that may have its nexus in agriculture, but is one that is relevant to all Floridians,” Putnam told the Times-Union editorial board during a recent candidate interview.
And the department has certainly made huge strides toward that goal since Putnam became its commissioner in 2011.
Since then, the agency has:
■ Successfully taken over responsibility — from the federal government — of Florida’s school nutrition program, a massive $1 billion effort that now provides school children with fresh food straight from state farms and producers.
■ Launched an impressive initiative to identify communities across Florida, including Jacksonville, that have “food deserts” — areas and neighborhoods that have a disproportionately low number of grocery stores and other sources of fresh food within an easily accessible radius.
■ Worked aggressively with grocers, industry executives, public officials and others to confront the growing plague of citrus greening, a bacterial disease that has ravaged Florida’s citrus acreage (Putnam estimated it’s now 500,000 acres — down from 800,000 just 10 years ago). Florida is now in “a race against the clock” to find a way to prevent citrus greening, Putnam told the editorial board.
■ Streamlined and strengthened the state’s regulations on charities, which require organizations to be far more accountable in handling charitable funds and give Floridians much more information on how their donated dollars are being used.
■ Oversaw a sweeping investigation into how energy-related grants had been used in Florida in recent years.
Among other findings, the probe revealed that some $2.5 million had been misspent — and it led to some much-needed reforms.
Comisionado de Agricultura
El comisionado de Agricultura, Adam Putnam, de 40 años de edad, es el miembro más joven del gabinete de la Florida. Fue miembro del Congreso por cinco términos y está aspirando a un merecido segundo término en su cargo actual.
El demócrata Thad Hamilton, que se postuló en el 2010 como candidato sin afiliación partidista, fue empleado del Departamento de Agricultura de Estados Unidos y tiene décadas de experiencia en la conservación de recursos. También preside el Servicio de Conservación de Agua y Suelos de Broward.
Putnam cumplió su promesa a los agricultores, los consumidores y los estudiantes de poner más productos agrícolas frescos en las escuelas públicas. Asignó fondos a los mercados campesinos urbanos para ayudar a los que reciben sellos de alimentos, y dio más ayuda a los bancos de alimentos.
Para la Comisión de Agricultura de la Florida, el Nuevo Herald recomienda a ADAM PUTNAM.
To meet, greet and engage with as many Florida voters as possible before election day, Adam Putnam is launching his “Florida Grown” Bus Tour. Adam Putnam and the “Florida Grown” Bus Tour will crisscross Florida through election day to make more than 50 visits to the state’s diverse cities - and their residents.
The “Florida Grown” Bus Tour will showcase Adam Putnam’s priorities to:
- Encourage economic prosperity
- Protect our Second Amendment rights
- Safeguard consumers from fraud
- Foster academic success; and
- Honor American veterans