Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam picked up a key endorsement from the Florida Chamber of Commerce. The announcement came during a news conference held in Orlando Thursday morning .
“Adam Putnam is the leader Florida needs to keep Florida’s momentum going. Adam Putnam knows Florida best, and I know without a doubt he believes in free enterprise and economic opportunity for every single Floridian,” said Mark Wilson, the president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “Adam Putnam believes in Florida and the Florida Chamber believes in Adam Putnam.”
The Chamber points to the 1.5 million jobs created since 2010 and the expansion of the state economy to an expected $1 trillion by the end of 2018 under the administration of Gov. Rick Scott. Wilson says Florida needs someone to lead the state through the next eight years.
“I am proud to have the support of the Florida Chamber of Commerce,” Putnam said. “As Governor, I will restore vocational, career and technical education in middle schools and high schools so that every Floridian has the skills they need to pursue good paying careers and find their piece of the American Dream right here in Florida. Together, we will continue to strengthen our workforce and provide opportunities for our young people to ensure Florida remains as the best place to do businesses.”
In deciding to endorse Putnam over his opponent, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, the Chamber points to Putnam’s record, which it says has fostered growth and diversification of Florida. As state Agriculture Commissioner, the Chamber says Putnam fought to expand the availability of Florida’s agricultural products, protected the state’s water supply, and fought to protect the state’s consumers from deceptive practices.
Business leaders from across the state joined Putnam to help make the endorsement, including Will Weatherford, managing partner of Weatherford Capital and former speaker of the Florida House.
“Adam Putnam is a leader who believes and creates opportunities for all Floridian’s,” said Weatherford. “Today we stand united with Adam Putnam and pledge our support of Florida’s next Governor.”
Recent polls have shown the race tightening between Putnam, who has been considered the presumptive front-runner in the race, and DeSantis. House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who still hasn’t announced whether he’s running, comes in a distant third.
The Capitolist’s HorseRace Index, which provides an average of the polls taken to date by using a weighted formula, shows Putnam with a .5 percent lead. The Index shows Putnam at 20.4 percent followed by DeSantis with 19.9 percent. Corcoran is third at 4.3 percent