Adam Putnam makes friends in The Villages as he begins campaign for governor


Republican candidate for governor Adam Putnam spoke to a crowd of about 70 people at the Rohan Recreation Center on Wednesday afternoon.

Putnam, a fifth-generation Floridian and current commissioner of agriculture, spoke about his passion for the state of Florida. He said that under current conservative leadership, “Florida is getting it right, but there is more work to be done.”

“We are the fishing capitol of the world, we should also be making the boats,” said Putnam. “We should be the state that builds things, not just the prize for a life well lived elsewhere.”

Jan Morison and Sherrie Hyer with candidate Adam Putnam.
Jan Morison and Sherrie Hyer with candidate Adam Putnam.

His comment regarding getting Washington off education and putting it back in the hands of local control including choices for parents received a strong positive reaction from the audience. Putnam thinks more should be done to introduce middle and high school students to various trades and what they can earn, before a student is pressured to go into debt to earn a degree they might not even want. “We need to reaffirm pride in work,” said Putnam.

Steve and Mary Louise Melchert
Steve and Mary Louise Melchert

Putnam wants to empower the business owners and entrepreneurs to start and grow here.

“People save all year to spend their vacation here, they save all their lives to come and live here,” said Putnam, “and that is great, we can be all that and more.”

Under Putnam’s leadership concealed weapon licensing is up 125 percent and crime is at a 45-year low. He asked the audience if they could see the connection.  Strong support for law enforcement is on his agenda.

“For these people there is no such thing as an ordinary day,” said Putnam.

“Our state really is special; it is a large, diverse thriving state,” said Putnam.

Believing strongly in less government, he wants to lift up small businesses and see commitment to conservative values starting with the government.

Putnam’s stop in The Villages is part of a bus tour that started after he announced his candidacy last week.

Dr. Darlene Druzenvich and Ann Peters signing the tour bus.
Dr. Darlene Druzenvich and Ann Peters signing the tour bus.

Village of Osceola Hills residents Dr. Darlene Druzenvich and Ann Peters liked what they heard.

“I was already interested in him as a candidate, but his talk today confirmed that I am aligned with his values,” said Druzenvich. “He didn’t use a script, he spoke from the heart.”

Jan Morison also attended to find out more about Putnam.

“I am very impressed; I liked what he had to say about education. Education is crucial,” said Morison. Her friend Sherrie Hyer arrived a Putnam supporter.

“I want to see a conservative government,” said Hyer.

Steve and Mary Louise Melchert also arrived already Putnam supporters. Having lived in the Village of Labelle for a little over a year, Steve still works across the state in agriculture and has worked with Putnam in that capacity.

Prior to being Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, Putnam served five terms in Congress.


  1. Yes we need our children to learn trades.. but they also need higher education.. and to this guy to say to forget about education and introduce them to trades so they won’t go into debt??? That’s NUTS.. I would hope they ARE exposed to trades.. but let’s keep these kids STRIVING for college and higher education.. CHANGE THE SYSTEM .. So they aren’t PAYING debt BACK for going to college their whole lives.. don’t discourage them from going..

    • Not everyone is born with the same intellectual ability. We aren’t born equal, but we are all born valuable. It is wrong to encourage kids who are not college material to have goals that don’t fit them. There is nothing wrong and much right about learning a trade and doing something useful all of your life. A skilled mother or teacher knows how to guide kids to the right education. Some people are born with a math brain and some are born with visual acuity or are very articulate. Some people are very good at building things and at fixing things. It used to be that tests were given to sixth graders and their education path was chosen for them. People who do not go to college or cannot make it in college are not dumb or failures. Trying harder is NOT the answer here. I would never make it a center for the Celtics. And I couldn’t fix a car.

  2. Until he decides that his office can come up with the money that the state ripped off millions of Florida residents back in 2004 and 2005 I will not vote for him. I recently contacted his office because the lawsuits for the citrus canker has been awarded to the citizens for Orange county. The response I received was there’s no money in the budget to pay people what the court says they’re owed. Since when can the state decide when they will get around to paying a lawsuit? They have known about this lawsuit since 2005. So why is the money not set aside to pay people off? I am owed almost $1000 from the state! Several other counties have also been awarded money to their citizens by the courts. No money to pay them off either. Go back to your office and figure out how to pay the citizens of the state of Florida the money their are owed! Stop wasting my tax payer money to camping! Get back to work!

  3. So many questions that did not get asked but yet are being asked now.

    I am reasonably sure that the health care question could have been asked and answered had the person who brought it up in this forum attended.

    Also, the vitriol exhibited by some does nothing but further divide us. Both sides are to blame and sadly, this will continue.

  4. Under Putnam’s leadership concealed weapon licensing is up 125 percent and crime is at a 45-year low

    Can someone explain to me how the commissioner of Agriculture gets credit for concealed carry permits and reduction in crime?

    I’m surprised he only got 70 people. Andrew Gillum got about 400 when he was here a couple of months ago.