Two of the top Republicans running to replace term-limited Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam unveiled the support of law enforcement personnel this week.
On Wednesday, state Rep. Matt Caldwell, R-Leigh Acres, announced he was the unanimous choice of the Florida Police Benevolent Association (PBA) Board of Directors. The PBA represents more than 28,000 law enforcement and correctional officers across the state.
“Representative Matt Caldwell is a champion for the men and women of law enforcement and corrections,” said Florida PBA President John Rivera. “As our next commissioner of Agriculture, his intelligence and leadership will serve Florida well. He is always willing to put the necessary work in to get the job done right. We are proud to endorse Matt Caldwell for Florida’s commissioner of Agriculture.”
“I’m proud to have received the unanimous endorsement of the Police Benevolent Association,” said Caldwell. “Florida’s law enforcement community is made up of brave and selfless men and women who admirably uphold their commitment to protect and serve. I am honored that they have placed their trust in me.”
But Caldwell wasn’t the only candidate who showed off their support from law enforcement this week. State Sen. Denise Grimsley, R-Lake Placid, announced that 10 sheriffs from across the state were backing her campaign.
“I am truly grateful for the support of 10 Florida sheriffs who have endorsed my campaign,” said Grimsley on Tuesday. “Our local law enforcement officers put their lives on the line on a daily basis to ensure our communities are safe, and I am honored that so many of Florida’s sheriffs have chosen to lend me their support.
“Now, more than ever, we must recognize the critical role these law enforcement officers play in protecting Florida’s families, and we must do all we can to ensure they have the resources they need at their disposal,” continued Grimsley. “As commissioner of Agriculture, the law enforcement community can rest assured that I will empower them to do their life-saving jobs effectively.”
“Together, with a number of my fellow sheriffs from around the state, I am proud to endorse Denise Grimsley for Florida commissioner of Agriculture,” said Martin County Sheriff William Snyder. “With her core values, expertise and background, I am confident that she is the best and only choice to be Florida’s next commissioner of Agriculture.”
Besides Snyder, Grimsley unveiled the support of Baker County Sheriff Scotty Rhoden; Bradford County Sheriff Gordon Smith; Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell; Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter; Hardee County Sheriff Arnold Lanier; Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper; Putnam County Sheriff Gator DeLoach; Taylor County Sheriff Wayne Padgett; and Wakulla County Sheriff Jared Miller.
Other Republicans running in the primary include retired Army Col. Mike McCalister who ran for governor in 2010 and for the U.S. Senate in 2012 and former state Rep. Baxter Troutman. Homestead Mayor Jeff Porter and biologist David Walker are running for the Democratic nomination.