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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Adam Putnam commits to voting for Trump

The man considered a leading contender to become Florida's next governor left no doubt that he will support Donald Trump in November.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam told reporters after a Florida Cabinet meeting in Tallahassee Tuesday that there is no question that he will vote for Trump in November over likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

"I have said from the beginning I would support the nominee," Putnam said. "He wasn't my first or second choice. I started with Jeb. Then I was with Senator (Marco) Rubio and all indications are he is going to be our nominee. As a proud Republican I don't intend to support Hillary Clinton."

It's a big contrast with former Gov. Jeb Bush, whom Putnam campaigned with in Iowa before that state's caucuses. On social media last week, Bush said he could not support Trump for the presidency.

"Donald Trump has not demonstrated that temperament or strength of character," Bush wrote. "He has not displayed a respect for the Constitution. And, he is not a consistent conservative. These are all reasons why I cannot support his candidacy."

Asked about Trump's poor numbers with women voters and Hispanic voters, Putnam acknowledged that could be a problem for the real estate mogul.

"I am concerned about how he has positioned himself with some key voting blocs," Putnam said. 

Though some Republicans have expressed concern that Trump could hurt down-ballot races, Putnam was quick to point out Trump carried 66 of 67 counties in Florida in the Republican primary. He also said he is intrigued by new polling released earlier on Tuesday that shows Clinton and Trump essentially tied in Florida.

Putnam is widely rumored to be interested in running for governor in 2018, when Gov. Rick Scott will be barred from running for re-election because of term limits. 

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 10, 2016 2:18pm]


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