GOP star Adam Putnam announces he is running for governor

BARTOW, Fla. (AP) – Touting a “conservative vision for Florida” Adam Putnam officially jumped in to the race to succeed Rick Scott as Florida’s Governor.

Putnam made his first speech as a gubernatorial candidate on the steps of the Old Polk County Courthouse in his hometown of Bartow on Wednesday.

“I’m fortunate – I have been a Floridian all my life. I grew up in my family’s citrus and cattle business, ” said Putnam. “Like any small business, workdays were not nine-to-five. And there were no holidays. That life taught me responsibility. Hard work. Perseverance. Responsibility. These are common values. And too often in our society, they are forgotten.”

Putnam has been Florida Agriculture Commissioner since first being elected in 2010. He won re-election to the seat in 2014. His political career dates back to 1996 when he, at age 22, became the youngest person ever elected to the Florida legislature. He won election to the US House in 2000 and served in that role until 2010.

Putnam’s announcement comes on the heels of another former member of the US House, Gwen Graham, officially declaring her intentions to run for Governor. Graham’s dad, Bob was Florida Governor from 1979-1987.