On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., announced he was backing state Rep. Matt Caldwell, R-Leigh Acres, in next month’s Republican primary to replace term limited Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.
Rubio announced his support of Caldwell on Wednesday afternoon, insisting he was more conservative than primary opponents state Sen. Denise Grimsley, R-Lake Placid, former state Rep. Baxter Troutman and retired Army Col. Mike McCallister who ran for governor in 2010 and for the U.S. Senate in 2012.
“As the most conservative candidate in the race for commissioner of agriculture, 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,” Rubio said in his endorsement. “There is no harder working or more qualified candidate in the race for commissioner of agriculture and I urge all Floridians to vote for Matt Caldwell this August and November.”
“I’m proud to have Senator Rubio’s endorsement,” Caldwell said. “In the race for commissioner of agriculture, I am working from the winning playbook of Senator Marco Rubio in 2010 when he was the underdog candidate and won because he was the most conservative and the hardest working.”
Caldwell then threw a job at his opponents before insisting he was the “true conservative” in the field.
“Unlike my opponents, I have never voted against our Second Amendment rights, to expand Obamacare in Florida, or to raise taxes on hard working Florida families,” Caldwell said. “As the true conservative candidate in the race, I am battle-tested and ready to stand on principle for Florida’s families.”
Three Democrats are running in their party’s primary: attorney Nikki Friend, Homestead Mayor Jeff Porter and biologist and activist R. David Walker.