At Mel’s Diner, along South Cleveland Avenue, Roz Lesser drank her morning coffee and she was excited to see Florida Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam. She said she saw Putnam when he was a U.S. Congressman and knew he was destined to lead the state.
“Gosh. First time I heard him speak and went up and shook his hand afterwards and I said ‘sir. I’m looking forward to voting for you for governor',” said Lesser.
Lesser said she’s confident Putnam will help out the hurting citrus industry, but she particularly likes Putnam’s stance on immigration; specifically when it comes to sanctuary cities, or cities that limit their cooperation to work with the federal government on immigration enforcement.
“I am concerned about that becoming a statewide issue," she said. "Not just for the Miamis and the Tallahassees and the Jacksonvilles.”
Putnam addressed that in his speech to the crowd of about 30.
“That cannot happen in our state," said Putnam. "That's what's going on in California and in Maryland and in other places. And we will not have sanctuary cities in Florida, as your governor.”
Putnam’s motto is Florida First.
“Florida first in education; Florida first in infrastructure; Florida first in 2nd Amendment rights; Florida first in taking care of our veterans and our first responders," Putnam said. "When we put Florida first Florida, it will be the launch pad for the American Dream.”
What he’s not too keen on: alternative energy. During a Q&A session after the speech, a man told Putnam that humans are not really responsible for global warming
“And so there’s no room, if Adam Putnam is governor, for any subsidies for green energy. Is that correct?” the man asked.
“That's correct," Putnam said. "One of the most famous subsidies that [former Florida Governor] Charlie Crist did was: You had renters and low income people paying a subsidy so that wealthy people were getting a solar subsidy and if people want solar, and that's their right, they ought to be able to do that. But don't ask the rest of everyone to pay that subsidy to make that possible.”
According to a recent Mason-Dixon poll, Putnam has the lead among other Republicans vying for the governorship.