On Tuesday, the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) and the Unified Sportsmen of Florida endorsed state Rep. Matt Caldwell, R-Lehigh Acres, to be the state’s next agriculture commissioner.
Marion Hammer, the past president of the NRA and the executive director of Unified Sportsmen of Florida, offered the rationale behind the endorsement.
“Representative Matt Caldwell has been a steadfast supporter of Second Amendment issues as a member of the Florida House,” Hammer said. “His support of Second Amendment, self-defense, and anti-crime issues and his pro-sportsmen, pro-Second Amendment, pro-freedom record have earned him our endorsement.
“He is the only candidate in this race with a perfect record of unyielding support of the Second Amendment to our Constitution,” Hammer added. His background of active, dedicated legislative service to advancing the cause of Freedom and protecting Second Amendment rights has been outstanding. That’s why we trust you to administer Florida’s Concealed Weapons and Firearms Licensing Program. We urge all Second Amendment supporters to vote for Matt Caldwell for Florida’s commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services.”
For his part, Caldwell vowed to defend the Second Amendment if he were elected.
“I’m proud to have received the endorsement of the NRA," Caldwell said. “Floridians can trust me to stand strong in defense of their constitutional freedoms. I am the only candidate to consistently have an A+ NRA rating and I am honored that they have placed their trust in me with a full endorsement. I am an unwavering defender of the 2nd Amendment because I believe what our Founders believed: our rights come from God, not politicians.”
Caldwell faces state Sen. Denise Grimsley, R-Lake Placid, former state Rep. Baxter Troutman and retired Army Col. Mike McCalister, who ran for governor in 2010 and for the U.S. Senate in 2012, in the Republican primary at the end of August. Current Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam faces term limits and is running for governor.