State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, an ardent supporter of Jeb Bush's run for the presidency, said he was profoundly disappointed that the former Florida governor ended his bid after a poor showing in Saturday's primary in South Carolina.
Putnam, a likely candidate for governor in 2014, found out Bush was suspending his campaign through a tweet, as he hosted the Hillsborough County GOP's Lincoln 2016 Red Ball in Tampa.
"I feel very badly for Jeb and his family. Jeb Bush is an extraordinary man and one of the most consequential governors in Florida's history," said Putnam, who served as a member of the Florida House during part of Bush's two terms as governor. "Now I know how hard he worked and how much of his heart and soul he poured into this campaign, and so the disappointment is obviously profound."
Putnam said the political winds are not blowing this year for established politicians such as Bush. But he says the news does bode well for the campaign of Senator Marco Rubio, saying he's the only remaining candidate who can claim "deep roots" in Florida.
Putnam said he believes Rubio will pick up most of Bush's supporters.
"He (Rubio) has certainly put in his fair share of time at events like this all over the state, where he has a network he can reach into and draw upon. I think that he will pick up significant support from the Bush network," he said.