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INTERESTING CLIP FROM THE ORLANDO SENTINEL DeSANTIS vs PUITNAM

Scott Maxwell    Contact Reporter

Republicans: Ron DeSantis

I’ve always thought DeSantis was the more solid choice for Republicans. He’s a former Navy JAG officer, member of Congress and rock-solid conservative.

Republicans seem to agree as DeSantis is surging in the polls. He’s gone from 15 points behind Adam Putnam in one poll to more than 15 points ahead in another.

That’s partly because Putnam is a career politician (44 years old and in elected office since he was 22) whose campaign has been a train wreck. It’s not that Putnam’s tactical operation has been poorly run. It’s that his actual record has been exposed. And for Putnam, that may be fatal.

Putnam’s agriculture office has botched gun permits. The state’s waters are now thick with polluted green slop after he spent years fussing about environmental protection.

And there’s the fact that he declared himself a “proud NRA sellout” — an admission that made even ardent Second Amendment supporters wince. Many people, after all, respect gun rights. No one respects a “sellout.”

Meanwhile, DeSantis, a Bronze Star recipient and graduate of Yale University and Harvard law, has scored endorsements from President Trump and Fox News celebrities while reminding voters that he stood up to Big Sugar, which has poured money into Putnam’s campaign.

The knock against DeSantis is that he kowtows to the president. The knock against Putnam is that he kowtows to any business interest with a campaign check.

Regardless of who wins, count on Republicans rallying behind their guy. Because, unlike Democrats — who sometimes turn into pouty, “I’m voting for Jill Stein!” defeatists after their preferred candidate loses — Republicans usually unite after a primary.

 

The primary vote is Aug. 28. The last day to register to vote or pick or switch parties before the primary is July 30.

smaxwell@orlandosentinel.com

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