Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam has finally put an end to years of speculation: he’s officially running for governor of Florida in 2018.
Putnam filed his paperwork to run for the state’s highest office on Monday.
“I consider myself one of the luckiest people in the world because I get to call Florida home,” Putnam told the Tampa Bay Times. “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.”
Putnam has certainly been acting the part of candidate in recent months. On Saturday, he gave a rousing campaign-style speech to a group of GOP party faithful at the Republican Party of Florida’s spring quarterly meeting.
In the speech, Putnam highlighted his own accomplishments as state agriculture commissioner while pushing to continue conservative values in the Sunshine State.
“We can only accomplish what we want to accomplish with conservative principles,” he told the RPOF.
Putnam talked about focusing on small Florida businesses, lowering statewide unemployment and respecting police officers. He promised to not let up on giving Florida families jobs and opportunities under a conservative banner which he said makes Florida the apple of conservatives’ eyes around the country.
“We are the envy of the nation for conservative values and a conservative approach to governing the third largest state in the nation,” he explained.
Putnam wasted no time touting his own accomplishments as Florida’s agriculture commissioner over the weekend.
He highlighted numbers of concealed weapons permits (now up to 1.6 million) and protecting the Second Amendment, which he said were important ways to give Floridians their God-given constitutional rights and to keeping Florida conservative.
Meanwhile, Putnam continues reel in cash through his Florida Grown political committee laying the groundwork for his 2018 campaign.
In March, Putnam raised over a million dollars in the committee, adding to a total of nearly $11 million raised over the last two years.
Putnam isn’t the only Republican considering running for the job. House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Senate Appropriations Chair Jack Latvala are rumored to be feeling out the possibility as well.
On the Democratic side, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Orlando businessman Chris King have already thrown their hats into the ring, while former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham will likely announce her candidacy Tuesday morning in Miami.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.