An already cash-flush committee supporting Republican Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam‘s 2018 bid for governor raised nearly $800,000 during the first 24 days of May, according to the committee’s website.
Putnam formally opened his campaign for governor on May 1 and is hoping strong early fundraising numbers will dissuade potential GOP primary rivals — such as House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land-O’Lakes, and state Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater — from getting into the governor’s race.
The Florida Grown political committee, formed in 2015 just after Putnam was re-elected ag commissioner and viewed as a vehicle for his gubernatorial ambitions, has raised more than $11.3 million and began May with $8.2 million in cash on hand.
Candidates and committees file monthly reports with the Florida Division of Elections. But committees are also required to maintain websites and report contributions within five days of receiving them.
With money from the final week of May still waiting to be logged in, Florida Grown could top $1 million for the month. The committee received more than $2 million in February and more than $1 million in March.
Florida Grown’s May contributions included a $221,237 gift on May 23 from the SSLP Political Committee, which is headed by Putnam’s 2014 campaign treasurer, Venice accountant Eric Robinson.
SSLP’s largest donor was the Florida Phosphate Political Committee, which gave $100,000 in late 2014.
SSLP gave $10,000 to Jeb Bush‘s Right To Rise PAC in 2015. After Bush dropped out of the 2016 presidential race, Right To Rise gave $1,171 back to SSLP. SSLP closed out its account last week by giving all its remaining money to Florida Grown.