Adam Putnam: ‘Florida can be the launch pad for the American dream’

A sea of supporters greet Republican Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam as he formally rolls out his 2018 campaign for governor. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

BARTOW — Adam Putnam formally rolled out his 2018 campaign for governor in picturesque fashion here today, with a cheering crowd and a high school band in front of an historic courthouse in his home town.

Putnam’s campaign said more than 1,600 people checked in at the outdoor rally to hear the two-term Republican agriculture commissioner and former congressman.

Putnam in front of the historic Polk County Courthouse. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

“We’ve got to put Florida first to make sure this isn’t only the place where people come after a life well-lived somewhere else — it’s where they come to launch their own American dream,” Putnam said.

“Our state can be the launch pad for the American Dream. The state that is the fishing capital of the world can also be the state that builds the boats and trains the craftsmen. The state that trained millions of soldiers and sailors and airmen can retrain our citizens with the skills that allow them to compete in a rapidly changing world – and win. The state that put a man on the moon can build the tools for the next giant leap for mankind,” Putnam said.

Putnam, whose Florida Grown political committee began April with more than $7.7 million in cash on hand, is the early favorite to win the 2018 Republican nomination. House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’ Lakes, and state Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, are other potential GOP candidates.

Several Democrats are running or contemplating campaigns. Former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and businessman Chris King are in the Democratic race. Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and trial lawyer John Morgan are also considering Democratic bids.

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