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Florida House Speaker endorses Putnam for Governor

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Posted at 7:15 PM, May 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-09 17:16:35-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (The News Service of Florida) - House Speaker Richard Corcoran on Wednesday dropped his potential bid for governor and endorsed Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam in the Republican primary.

Citing the cost of running a statewide campaign, Corcoran says he re-evaluated his long-speculated bid to succeed outgoing Governor Rick Scott and decided against running.

Wednesday’s announcement cements a match-up in the Republican primary between Putnam and Congressman Ron DeSantis.

Corcoran feels Putnam is the GOP’s best chance to keep the governor’s mansion in Republican control, where it has been for nearly 20 years.

“Once I made the decision that I wasn’t going to run, I am definitely not one who is going to sit on the sidelines," said Corcoran. "It took all of 2.2 seconds for me to utter the name Adam Putnam in my mind and say that I am going to get out and I’m going to support Adam.”

Putnam welcomed Corcoran’s backing. 

“To have the endorsement and to have the support of someone who knows Florida so well, and is so passionate about Florida’s future, and is such a principled conservative, means everything in the world to me," said Putnam. 

But signaling a contentious August 28 primary, the DeSantis campaign characterized the endorsement as an “insider” deal between two long-time members of the Tallahassee establishment, noting Corcoran and Putnam have disagreed on issues, including immigration.

DeSantis is endorsed by President Donald Trump. Whoever wins the Republican primary will face one of four Democratic gubernatorial candidates in the November general election.