Adam Putnam bracing for GOP challenger(s)

Adam Putnam campaigning in Riviera Beach in May. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam so far is the only major 2018 Republican candidate for governor.

But with state Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land-O’Lakes, and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Ponte Vedra Beach, considering gubernatorial bids, Putnam’s recent social media posts show he’s aggressively seeking to nail down crucial conservative support for a potential GOP primary.

When a Tampa Bay Times columnist last week accused Putnam of being a sellout to the National Rifle Association, it gave the Putnam campaign a Republican primary twofer: a chance to rip the liberal media and an opportunity to proclaim his support for the Second Amendment.

“What a surprise. The liberal media is attacking a conservative again. The Tampa Bay Times recently called me a sellout to the NRA. As someone who believes the Second Amendment is an inalienable right, I’ll wear that comment like a badge of honor. I’m a proud NRA Sellout. If you’re proud to be an NRA Sellout, too, sign the petition below!” said a post on Putnam’s campaign Facebook page.

Latvala responded Sunday on Twitter to Putnam’s “sellout” declaration.

“I will never sell out to anyone, anytime,” Latvala tweeted.

https://twitter.com/JackLatvala/status/891629517760069632

Over the weekend, Putnam went after the media again, using Twitter and Facebook to promote a petition to “Tell CNN to stop spreading Fake News!”

Latvala, who will be in Palm Beach County next week for a roundtable discussion on the state’s opioid crisis, is expected to announce later this month whether he’s running.

DeSantis, who’s also considering a run for attorney general, says he’ll decide by the fall whether he’s entering the governor’s race.

Corcoran has said he won’t decide on a gubernatorial bid until 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: George Bennett

George Bennett has been a Palm Beach Post reporter since 1992. He grew up in Bethesda, Md. and is a graduate of The George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @gbennettpost

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