With the first debate between the two Republican gubernatorial candidates looming on Thursday night, incoming state House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Hialeah, threw his support behind U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., over Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.
Oliva weighed in on Thursday morning on why he was backing DeSantis for governor.
“As a dedicated conservative, I am proud to endorse Ron DeSantis to be the next governor of our great state,” Oliva said. “Ron's commitment to this country and the values that made her great are second to none. Beginning with his service in Iraq alongside SEAL Team 1 through his time in Congress, Ron always puts America first. He's a tax cutter, budget hawk, education reformer, and the rarest of elected officials in Washington, a demonstrated conservative. Florida has consistently shown what conservative governance can do for our schools, economy, job creation, and quality of life.We must continue that legacy of conservative leadership and Ron DeSantis is the candidate we can trust to do that.”
For his part, DeSantis had kind words for Oliva who takes over from outgoing Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Lutz, after the November elections.
“Florida House Speaker-Designate Jose Oliva is the Florida legislative leader I admire most. He’s a successful businessman, a solid conservative, and fighter for our constitution," said DeSantis. “He’s not afraid to stand up for his principles especially when it means fighting Tallahassee's entrenched special interests. I’m proud to have his support and look forward to working with him as governor to build on Governor Scott’s success, fix our broken courts system, empower parents to make the best choices for their children and drain the Tallahassee swamp.”
Putnam and DeSantis clash on Thursday night in a debate sponsored by the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) which will be broadcast across Florida and the nation on Fox News. Most polls have shown Putnam ahead of DeSantis with almost half of Florida Republicans still undecided with two months to go until the primary.
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