David Hogg calls for 'die-in' protests at South Florida Publix stores

Grocery store under fire for support of pro-NRA gubernatorial candidate

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor

PARKLAND, Fla. - Parkland school shooting survivor and activist David Hogg plans to hold "die-in" protests at two Publix stores Friday over the Florida grocery store chain's support for gubernatorial candidate Adam Putman.

Putman, a Republican and currently Florida's agricultural commissioner, is a strong supporter of gun rights and referred to himself as a "proud NRA sellout" in a 2017 tweet. 

In recent days, Publix has come under criticism over social media from the survivors of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after the Tampa Bay Times reported that the Lakeland-based company gave Putman more than $500,000 for his campaign.

"Publix where shopping means endorsing an organization that called kids that survived a school shooting soulless," Matt Deitsch, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student, said on Twitter.

Hogg and others have called for the company to pull its endorsement of Putman.

Publix has sought to distance itself from the controversy, saying it did not provide any financial support to the National Rifle Association.

"We regret that some of our political contributions have led to an unintentional customer divide instead of our desire to support a growing economy in Florida," Publix said in an statement. "As a result of this situation, we are evaluating our processes to ensure that our giving better reflects our intended desire to support a strong economy and a healthy community."

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