Republican Adam Putnam enters governor race; Dem Gwen Graham tomorrow?

Time to re-wrap the campaign bus: Adam Putnam in 2010 when he first ran for agriculture commissioner. He’s now a 2018 candidate for governor.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam‘s long-anticipated campaign for governor became official when he filed paperwork this afternoon in Tallahassee to open a 2018 campaign.


Gwen Graham with her father, former Gov. and Sen. Bob Graham, at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Republican Putnam will likely be joined on the campaign trail by Democrat Gwen Graham, who has scheduled a “major announcement” for Tuesday morning in Miami Lakes. Graham is a former congresswoman whose father, Bob Graham, was a Democratic senator and governor.


Putnam, a former U.S. House member who was twice elected agriculture commissioner, faces term limits in his current job. The governor’s mansion will be open because Republican Gov. Rick Scott faces term limits and is expected to run for the seat of Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in 2018.


Said Putnam: “I consider myself one of the luckiest people in the world because I get to call Florida home. It’s our responsibility as Floridians to keep our economy at work, to increase access to high quality education, to fiercely protect our personal freedoms, to keep our state safe, and to welcome our veterans home with open arms. I hope everyone will join me on May 10 at 11:00 a.m. on the old county courthouse steps in Bartow, where I’ll share my vision for Florida’s future.”


While Putnam’s gubernatorial campaign begins today, his Florida Grown political committee began April with more than $8 million in the bank.


House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land-o’-Lakes, could join Putnam in seeking the GOP nomination.


Graham is expected to enter a Democratic race that already includes Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Orlando-area businessman Chris King. Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and trial lawyer John Morgan are also potential Democratic candidates for governor.


Although Florida is a perennial swing state in presidential elections, Republicans have won the last five governor’s races. The last Democrat to win a gubernatorial election was the late Lawton Chiles in 1994.




Trump in Palm Beach: Budget deal calls for feds to reimburse county taxpayers

A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy keeps an eye on demonstrators in Manalapan during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit last month. (Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post)

A $1 trillion bipartisan budget deal struck by congressional leaders Sunday night includes money to reimburse taxpayers in Palm Beach County and New York City for expenses associated with President Donald Trump‘s visits.

The full House and Senate are expected to vote this week on the bill to keep the federal government running through Sept. 30.

President Donald Trump and Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw at Mar-a-Lago in March.

CONTEXT: How President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago visits compare to getaways by other presidents.

Trump’s visits to Mar-a-Lago — two extended stays as president-elect and seven visits as president — have cost Palm Beach County taxpayers around $4 million so far. Most of the money has been for overtime by sheriff’s deputies who assist the Secret Service.

As costs have risen, local officials and members of Congress have called for the federal government to help. Sheriff Ric Bradshaw discussed the issue in person with Trump in March.




2020 watch: Florida Democrats book Joe Biden for June fundraiser

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who passed up a 2016 run for president, has been drawing 2020 speculation by appearing in New Hampshire and, now, Florida.

Crank up the 2020 speculation: Former Vice President Joe Biden will be the keynote speaker for the Florida Democratic Party’s biggest annual fundraising dinner in June, the party announced this morning.


“Guys, I’m not running,” Biden declared over the weekend — a present-tense formulation that was made in New Hampshire, the first-in-the-nation primary state.


Biden, who’ll be nearly 78 on election day of 2020, flirted with a 2016 run for president but opted against it in 2015. In hindsight, Biden might have done a better job of connecting with working-class Rust Belt voters than Hillary Clinton, who lost the previously blue states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin to Donald Trump.


Trump has already opened a 2020 campaign and is airing new TV ads today.


Biden will speak at the Florida Democratic Party’s “Leadership Blue” gala — formerly the Jefferson-Jackson dinner — at the Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood on June 17.


“We are thrilled to announce the former Vice President as our keynote speaker. Joe Biden has spent his life in public service and has fought tirelessly for the Democratic belief that all Americans deserve an equal shot in our economy, not just those at the top. We are excited to welcome him back to Florida for our Leadership Blue Gala,” said Florida Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Bittel.





See it: New Trump TV ad says ‘America is winning again’ after 100 days

President Donald Trump’s first 100 days are in the books, but the spinning by supporters and critics continues.

President Donald Trump in a new 2020 campaign ad.

Part-time Palm Beach resident Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign is weighing in this morning with $1.5 million worth of new TV and digital ads that say “America has rarely seen such success.”

FLORIDA FACTOR: How Mar-a-Lago visits were a big part of President Trump’s first 100 days.

Here’s the text of the 30-second ad:

Narrator: Donald Trump, sworn in as president one hundred days ago

America has rarely seen such Success

A respected Supreme Court justice: Confirmed

Companies investing in American jobs again

America becoming more energy independent

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster appears in the new ad — a pick that received high marks in Trump’s first 100 days, but a reminder that the first adviser, Michael Flynn, was pressed to resign.

Regulations that kill American jobs: eliminated

The biggest tax cut plan in history

You wouldn’t know it from watching the news

America is winning again and President Trump is making America great again

Trump: I’m Donald Trump and I approve this message