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.”
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.
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.
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.