On Wednesday, state House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Lutz, ended speculation that he would run for governor and endorsed Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam to be the Sunshine State’s 46th governor.
Corcoran endorsed Putnam at a media event in Tallahassee on Wednesday morning, insisting he could keep Florida’s economy strong and defeat any of the Democrats in the race.
“Ive known Adam, I know his character. He is principled, authentic and passionate, and he loves this state," Corcoran said. "Adam will be a phenomenal leader.
"What is daunting and what is troubling is we have every Democratic candidate saying they will over regulate, raise taxes and put burdens back on the state. Because of what we have done, the private sector has created over 1.5 million jobs,” Corcoran continued.
"Who can take those great gains and go much further down the road to a prosperous Florida? There is no question, there is no doubt that that person, that leader is Adam Putnam,” the House speaker concluded.
“Richard Corcoran is not one to stand on the sidelines. He is the kind of guy who will roll up his sleeves and work to make Florida a better place for everyone," Putnam said. "He is a principled conservative and has been an extraordinary Speaker of the House. I am honored to have his support.”
The endorsement drew fire from the camp of U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., who is also running for the Republican nomination. DeSantis has the support of President Donald Trump.
“Insiders only know how to play one game, and that’s making deals to save their own skin," said David Vasquez, a spokesman for DeSantis. "After a year of campaigning and millions of dollars of special interest money spent, career insider Adam Putnam’s campaign has flatlined. So, he’s turning to dealmaking in the Tallahassee swamp. Today he'll stand in the shadow of the state capital in the middle of the Tallahassee swamp and receive the endorsement of a fellow career insider, one that will only matter to his fellow swamp dwellers.
“Conservative principles don’t matter to career insiders, just deals and dealmaking,” Vasquez added. “That’s why we’re not surprised to see this corrupt bargain even after Richard Corcoran accurately called out Adam Putnam’s support for amnesty for illegal immigrants. Or after Adam Putnam said he wouldn’t have signed Richard Corcoran’s signature school choice legislation. But when you’re in the Tallahassee swamp, conservative principles are expendable for political expediency.
"Career politician, Adam Putnam, will now get the two-man race he's been fearing for a year,” Vasquez concluded. “A conservative Iraq veteran endorsed by Donald Trump versus. a Never Trump career politician who supported amnesty for illegal aliens. We like our odds.”