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Adam Putnam

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Adam Putnam
Adam Putnam.jpg
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services
In office
January 4, 2011 - Present
Term ends
January 2019
Years in position 4
PredecessorCharles Bronson (R)
Base salary$128,972
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Campaign $$4,368,904
Term limitsTwo consecutive terms
Prior offices
U.S. House of Representatives (FL-12)
2001 - 2010
Florida House of Representatives
1996 - 2001
Bachelor'sUniversity of Florida (1995)
Date of birthJuly 31, 1974
Place of birthBartow, Florida
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Adam Putnam (b. July 31, 1974) is the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Putnam, a Republican, assumed office in January 2011.[1] Putnam ran for re-election in 2014.[2] Adam Putnam won the general election on November 4, 2014.

A February 2013 article in Governing named Putnam as one of the top state Republican officials to watch in 2013.[3]


A Florida native, Putnam was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives when he was 22. He served from 1996-2001 and went on to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2001-2011.[4]


  • B.A., Food and Resource Economics, University of Florida, 1995[5]

Political career

Florida Agriculture Commissioner (2011-Present)

Putnam was elected Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services on November 2, 2010, and assumed office in January 2011.


Firing of Gerald Bailey

Gov. Rick Scott has attracted scrutiny, criticism within his own party and a lawsuit following his removal of state Department of Law Enforcement head Gerald Bailey on December 16, 2014. The governor's office first responded to questions about Bailey's removal on January 13, 2015, by indicating that the former department head made the decision to resign. On January 28, Scott stated that Bailey was asked to step down voluntarily and complied with the request. Scott's advisors told the press in early February that Bailey had been instructed to prepare his successor, Rick Swearingen, as his replacement for an undisclosed resignation date. Bailey, who had served in the office for eight years, refuted these differing stories by the Scott administration, noting that "when the governor's office gives you until 3 o'clock to resign, you're not working out anything with your successor." A Miami Herald profile of Scott advisor Melissa Sellers on February 7 indicated that Sellers pushed for Bailey's removal due to disagreements over Scott's discussions of law enforcement in his 2014 campaign.[6][7]

Criticism by cabinet members

The head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement reports not only to the governor but three other constitutional officers: the Florida Attorney General, the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and the Florida Chief Financial Officer. All three offices are held by Republicans but Scott's fellow party members criticized his actions. Attorney General Pam Bondi has stated that she believes Bailey's removal was handled by Scott's staff without his knowledge and indicated that the state's "sunshine laws" might have been violated. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam offered pointed criticism of Scott's actions by suggesting that Scott worked behind the scenes to add an ally in the department. Putnam and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater raised these concerns at a February 5 meeting of the governor's cabinet, which led to revelations that aides were holding substantive policy discussions covered by state open-records laws.[8][9]

In their own words

  • Pam Bondi: "We all knew there were going to be changes made in the upcoming months, but did I know that Jerry Bailey was going to be told he was fired and have his things packed up, his entire life as a career law enforcement officer in a cardboard box, and be told to be out of the office before the end of the day? Absolutely not. Nor do I believe the governor knew it."
  • Adam Putnam: "At best, you would say that there was a great miscommunication, but we were misled as to the timing and the process of how that would be handled. . . . Jerry Bailey's a fine man. He served our state very well, and the way he was treated at the end of his distinguished career was shabby."
  • Jeff Atwater: "I was not aware of any discontent. There was none between myself and the commissioner. I was not aware of any others. I was not aware of any other friction that existed. To that extent, I have to accept my share of responsibility."[8]
  • Rick Scott: "Jerry Bailey was given the opportunity to step down. He did. He was given that opportunity, and then he waited until after Rick Swearingen was confirmed by the entire Cabinet and made his attacks. The attacks against me are absolutely untrue, and they're ridiculous."[8]

On February 3, 2015, the Florida Society of News Editors, the Associated Press and attorney Matthew Weidner filed a lawsuit against Scott, Putnam, Atwater and Bondi alleging violations of the state's open-records laws. The lawsuit argues that:

The governor violated the Sunshine Law by using conduits to engage in polling, discussions, communications and other exchanges with other members of the Cabinet regarding his unilateral decision to force the resignation of the FDLE commissioner and appoint a replacement without any notice to the public, without any opportunity for the public to attend, and without any minutes being taken. [10]

Miami Herald, (2015), [11]

Weidner and the other parties in the lawsuit want a state judge to clarify whether open-records laws were broken and force the Scott administration to be more transparent with their meetings. The February 3rd lawsuit coincided with a letter by First Amendment Foundation founder Barbara Petersen to Bondi requesting a special prosecutor to investigate the situation. Petersen objected to a potential investigation by state attorney Willie Meggs, who she noted has previously been a dinner guest at the governor's mansion. Meggs rejected a request by Weidner to investigate the Scott administration prior to the lawsuit.[11]


On his website, Putnam lists six main issues of his agenda:[12]

  • Foster economic prosperity
  • Exercise good government
  • Expand energy production
  • Protect Floridians' right to bear arms
  • Champion Florida's natural beauty
  • Motivate communities to be healthy and safe

Presidential preference


See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Adam Putnam endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [13]

U.S. House of Representatives (2001-2011)

Putnam served five terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Florida's 12th Congressional District from 2000-2011. He was elected as the Republican Policy Chairman during the 109th Congress and Chairman of the House Republican Conference for the 110th Congress. Putnam was also a member of the House Committees on Government Reform, Agriculture, Rules and Financial Services.[1]

Florida House of Representatives (1996-2001)

Putnam served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1996 to 2001.[1]



See also: Florida down ballot state executive elections, 2014

Putnam ran for re-election as Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services in the 2014 elections. He was uncontested in the August 26 Republican primary election and faced Democrat Thad Hamilton in the general election on November 4, 2014.[2]


Agriculture Commissioner of Florida, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngAdam Putnam Incumbent 58.7% 3,342,392
     Democratic Thad Hamilton 41.3% 2,356,178
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0% 213
Total Votes 5,698,783
Election Results via Florida Division of Elections.


Putnam won election in the November 2, 2010 election, defeating Scott Maddox (D), Ira Chester (TEA), and Thad Hamilton (NPA).[14]

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngAdam Putnam 55.9% 2,908,086
     Democratic Scott Maddox 38.1% 1,983,277
     TEA Ira Chester 3.9% 203,598
     No Party Affiliation Thad Hamilton 2% 103,717
Total Votes 5,198,678
Election Results via Florida Department of State

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Putnam is available dating back to 1998. Based on available campaign finance records, Putnam raised a total of $4,368,904 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 8, 2013.[15]

Adam Putnam's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Florida Agriculture Commissioner Not up for election $0
2010 Florida Agriculture Commissioner Won $4,166,968
1998 Florida House District 63 Won $201,936
Grand Total Raised $4,368,904


Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Adam Putnam's donors each year.[16] Click [show] for more information.


Putnam and his wife, Melissa, have four children.[1]

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See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Florida Department Of Agriculture and Consumer Services, "Commissioner Adam Putnam," accessed September 13, 2012 (dead link) (dead link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sunshine State News, "Adam Putnam Builds for 2014 and the Future," July 11, 2013
  3. Governing, "State Republican Officials to Watch in 2013," February 6, 2013
  4. Adam Putnam, "Bio," accessed September 19, 2012
  5. Project Vote Smart, "Biography of Adam Putnam," accessed August 22, 2012
  6. Tampa Bay Times, "Gov. Rick Scott's new version of FDLE ouster called 'absolutely untrue' by Gerald Bailey," February 2, 2015
  7. Miami Herald, "Meet Melissa Sellers, the power behind Gov. Rick Scott," February 7, 2015
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Tampa Bay Times, "Cabinet members step up attacks on Gov. Rick Scott over FDLE firing," January 28, 2015
  9. Miami Herald, "Cabinet members kept in dark on public discussions by their own aides," February 16, 2015
  10. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Miami Herald, "Lawsuits alleges Gov. Rick Scott and Florida Cabinet violated Sunshine Law," February 4, 2015
  12. Adam Putnam, "Agenda," accessed August 22, 2012
  13. Orlando Sentinel, "Adam Putnam endorses Romney," October 18, 2011
  14. Florida Division of Elections, "November 2010 General Election Results," accessed March 26, 2011
  15. Follow the Money, "Career fundraising for Adam Putnam," accessed July 8, 2013
  16. Follow the, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Bronson (R)
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Succeeded by