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|11th Agriculture Commissioner of Florida|
Assumed office |
January 4, 2011
|Preceded by||Charles Bronson|
|Chair of the House Republican Conference|
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2009
|Preceded by||Deborah Pryce|
|Succeeded by||Mike Pence|
|Chair of the House Republican Policy Committee|
February 1, 2006 – January 3, 2007
|Preceded by||John Shadegg|
|Succeeded by||Thad McCotter|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Florida's 12th district
January 3, 2001 – January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||Charles Canady|
|Succeeded by||Dennis Ross|
|Member of the Florida House of Representatives|
from the 63rd district
November 5, 1996 – November 7, 2000
|Preceded by||Dean Saunders|
|Succeeded by||Dennis Ross|
Adam Hughes Putnam|
July 31, 1974
Bartow, Florida, U.S.
|Education||University of Florida (BS)|
Adam Hughes Putnam (born July 31, 1974) is an American politician and a Republican serving as Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture, elected in 2010. He served in Congress for five terms, representing the Central Florida-based 12th Congressional district. He was the House Republican Conference Chair from 2007 to 2009.
Putnam was born in Bartow, Florida, the son of Sarah Elizabeth (née Hughes) and William Dudley Putnam II. He graduated from Bartow High School and attended the University of Florida, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in food and resource economics.
In 1996, Putnam was elected to the Florida House of Representatives, representing parts of Polk County. At 22 years old, he was the youngest person ever elected to the Florida Legislature. He was reelected to a second term in 1998. While in the state house, he served as chair of the Agriculture Committee.
In 2000, Putnam ran for the U.S. House seat being vacated by retiring Congressman Charles Canady. The district, numbered the 12th, included all of Putnam's house constituency as well as other areas of Polk County and rural Central Florida. He faced no opposition in the Republican primary, and defeated Democrat Mike Stedem in the general election, 57 to 43%. Taking office when he was 26 years old, Putnam was the youngest member of Congress from 2001 to 2005. Putnam was reelected in 2002 to a redistricted seat that included most of Polk County as well as parts of neighboring Hillsborough and Osceola Counties. He was reelected three more times after that, serving a total of ten years in Congress.
In February 2006, Putnam became a member of the House leadership, assuming the role of chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, the fifth-ranking Republican leadership position in the House. In November 2006, Putnam was elected by his colleagues as House Republican Conference Chairman, the third-highest ranking position. Following House Republican losses in the 2008 general election, he resigned his post as Conference Chairman. In 2010 The Florida Independent reported that Putnam had earmarked $100,000 for an abscission chemical used in citrus harvesting that The Florida Independent said would benefit his family's citrus business.
After the numerous calls by Democrats, including Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Putnam became the top Republican in either house to call for the ouster of former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. "For the good of the nation, I think it is time for fresh leadership at the Department of Justice", Putnam said. This was met with surprise by many Republicans, who were remaining silent on the Gonzales issue. However, Putnam mentioned that there remained severe discontent within the GOP circle over Gonzales and as the Chairman of the House Republican Conference, he thought that it was important to send this message out.
In February 2009, Putnam declared himself a candidate for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services in the 2010 election and that he would not seek a sixth term in Congress. Putnam won the election over Democratic opponent Scott Maddox with 56% of the vote. He was reelected in 2014.
As head of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Putnam was responsible for issuing concealed weapons permits after conducting background checks on applicants. An investigation by the Office of Inspector General found that from February 2016 until May 2017 the department stopped conducting national background checks on applicants for concealed weapons permits, because a worker could not log into an FBI database. More than 100,000 concealed carry permits were issued during this period without full screening. Putnam later said that 365 applicants should have been further backgrounded, and that 291 permits ended up being revoked for noncriminal disqualifying factors (drug abuse, mental illness, fugitives). Putnam pointed out that concealed carry permits do not allow gun purchases, which require a background check at the time of purchase. Florida Governor Rick Scott said that the incident was "disturbing" and "concerning" adding, "People need to do their jobs. This is public safety." Additional failures in conducting proper reviews of gun permit applications were reported in a 2012 report of the inspector general, including the issuance of gun licenses to felons, which occurred during the first years of Putnam's tenure, although certain instances occurred before Putnam's tenure.
In May 2017, Putnam announced his campaign for Florida governor in the 2018 election. He was one of eight candidates running for the Republican party nomination but was defeated in the 2018 primary by Ron Desantis As of April 2018, Putnam's campaign had acquired $19.2 million in campaign contributions, far more than any other candidate. His PAC, Florida Grown, has received large contributions from Walt Disney Company ($824,442 ), Publix ($736,000), Florida Power and Light ($587,060), and U.S. Sugar ($560,000). The donations from Publix to Adam Putnam drew public protest, including a die-in at a Publix supermarket, resulting from Putnam's claim of being a "proud NRA sell-out."
|Florida State House 63rd District Election, 1996|
|Florida State House 63rd District Election, 1998|
|Republican||Adam Putnam (inc.)||20,568||61.76|
|Florida's 12th Congressional District Election, 2000|
|Florida's 12th Congressional District Election, 2002|
|Republican||Adam Putnam (inc.)||n/a||100.0|
|Florida's 12th Congressional District Republican Primary Election, 2004|
|Republican||Adam Putnam (inc.)||42,605||92.3|
|Florida's 12th Congressional District Election, 2004|
|Republican||Adam Putnam (inc.)||179,204||64.9|
|Florida's 12th Congressional District Election, 2006|
|Republican||Adam Putnam (inc.)||124,452||69.1|
|No Party Affiliation||Joe Viscusi||34,976||19.4|
|No Party Affiliation||Ed Bowlin||20,636||11.5|
|Florida's 12th Congressional District Election, 2008|
|Republican||Adam Putnam (inc.)||185,698||57.5|
|Florida Agriculture Commissioner Election, 2010|
|TEA Party||Ira Chester||203,598||3.9|
|No Party Affiliation||Thad Hamilton||103,717||2.0|
|Florida Agriculture Commissioner Election, 2014|
|Republican||Adam Putnam (inc.)||3,342,392||58.7|
|Democratic||Thaddeus "Thad" Hamilton||2,356,178||41.3|
|Florida House of Representatives|
| Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 63rd district
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 12th congressional district
| Agriculture Commissioner of Florida
| Baby of the House
|Party political offices|
| Chair of the House Republican Policy Committee
| Chair of the House Republican Conference
Charles H. Bronson
| Republican nominee for Agriculture Commissioner of Florida