With less than six weeks to go until the primary, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi went to bat for state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam in the Republican gubernatorial primary.
Bondi appeared at an event in Winter Park with Putnam on Thursday and talked about her experience working with him in the state Cabinet.
“I’ve had the opportunity for seven and a half years now to work side by side with Commissioner Putnam,” Bondi said. “Ethics, intelligence and humility are what are so important in these jobs and Adam Putnam epitomizes that for the state of Florida.
“I know him personally, he has become like family to me,” Bondi added. “I know his wife, his kids, I know his heart. He is a great human being and he cares about that state of Florida. He knows Florida inside and out and he will do everything he can when he is governor to take care of Floridians and protect our great state. I am thrilled to be here supporting our next governor of the state of Florida.”
For his part, Putnam praised the attorney general who is facing term limits this year and is not seeking other offices.
“I’m so honored to be here with my friend, the attorney general, who has put Floridians’ public safety first every single day on the job,” Putnam said. “As our attorney general, she has cleaned up our pill mills, she’s taking on the opioid manufacturers, she’s protecting our children, she’s bringing an end to human trafficking in our state, she puts bad guys behind bars and most importantly she is my dear friend.
“We’re going to win because we have the strongest grassroots group of volunteers, we’re going to win because we have a message that resonates across the state, we’re going to win because I am the candidate who knows Florida best and will put Florida first,” Putnam continued.
Other Republicans at the event included former U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., state Sen. David Simmons, state Rep. Bob Cortes and state Rep. Scott Plakon.
Terrie Rizzo, the chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party, weighed in on the event.
“Pam Bondi and Donald Trump are actively trying to take away health care from millions of people and gut protections for pre-existing conditions — and Adam Putnam supports both of them,” Rizzo said. “By accepting Pam Bondi’s endorsement, Adam Putnam is backing Bondi’s cruel attacks on Floridians’ health care. Bondi and the Trump administration are leading the fight to take away health care from Floridians with pre-existing conditions. By campaigning with Bondi today, Putnam is making clear that as governor he will not protect Floridians with pre-existing conditions.”
In the meantime, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., Putnam’s chief rival for the Republican nomination, got some additional help on Thursday as Freedom Partners Action Fund (FPAF), which has already helped him with ads, released a mailer praising his record on fiscal issues.
Freedom Partners Action Fund Director Nathan Nascimento praised DeSantis on Thursday.
“Ron DeSantis is a proven leader,” Nascimento said. “As governor, he’ll continue to support policies that lift up Florida’s taxpayers and small businesses, and fight against giveaways to special interests at the expense of those who can least afford it.”