81ºF

Poll shows Republican primary for Florida governor is too close to call

Adam Putnam stops for Cuban coffee in Miami-Dade

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Republicans have controlled the Florida governor's office for nearly two decades, and Adam Putnam has been involved in Florida politics for half of his life.   

Putnam, who belongs to a wealthy Polk County family with businesses in cattle and citrus, served as Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture for nearly a decade. He also represented the 12th Congressional district in central Florida for a decade and spent four years in the Legislature.  

The 44-year-old Bartow native's experience and statewide network is at the center of his campaign against Congressman Ron DeSantis. During his Miami-mandatory stop for Cuban coffee on Thursday, he grabbed a microphone in front of a "ventanita" to tout his local knowledge. 

"We are on the closing stretch of this," Putnam said. "This is all about energizing our base, making sure they show up to vote." 

Dozens of his supporters showed up to welcome him to Miami-Dade's Westchester. They echoed the thoughts of Bartow resident Virginia Condello, who told The Tampa Bay Times last year that when Putnam launched his gubernatorial campaign, she was sure he was going to succeed Gov. Rick Scott.

"Even before he was 12, his dad said, 'He is going to be governor someday,'" Condello said in May. "We all knew it." 

Before President Donald Trump endorsed DeSantis, Putnam was the front runner. But Putnam has seen the power of the Trump effect, and as of Thursday, the race was too close to call.

WSJ/NBC News poll released Sunday shows Trump enjoys 88 percent of Republicans' approval. However, the latest Florida Atlantic University poll has DeSantis up by only one point. The poll has a margin of error of more than six points, and 22 percent of Republican voters remain undecided. 

 


About the Authors: