In Defense of Publix’ Gubernatorial Endorsement

A former columnist takes issue with a Tampa Bay Times column

There was a unique twist in the Florida gubernatorial race this week, when the Publix grocery store chain endorsed Republican candidate Adam Putnam’s campaign.  The move was unexpected and quickly became part of the Florida political conversation.  Tampa Bay Times columnist Fabiola Santiago took to the keyboard on Wednesday to question the move, and as a former columnist himself, Chris Ingram offers a counterpoint.

Few companies stand out in Florida as much as Disney, and Disney has long been a major political contributor.  Chris wonders why Publix is wrong to do something other, larger companies have had no problem doing for decades.  Besides, Publix is a company based in Lakeland, and that means they and Putnam both call Polk County home.

Ingram is incensed at the column and by extension the entire newspaper, going so far as to call the Times “fake news” on Thursday during his program and suggesting they “have nothing better to do than go after Republicans.”

There is nothing new or unique about a Fortune 500 company contributing to a political campaign.  Starbucks is known to contribute to the Democratic party, for example, and there are many more examples of companies that give money to either party or even both.

Chris wonders if it’s time to boycott not just the Times itself, but also the companies that support the newspaper with advertising because of what he believes to be “anti-Republican” views espoused by their columnist.

Chris briefly wrote for the Times, after they acquired the Tampa Tribune, and his time at the newspaper did not sit well with him.

Listen to the Chris Ingram Show, weekday mornings from 10-noon on AM 820 News Tampa Bay, and 98.3 FM Pinellas County.