Tampa Bay Times. Written by Steve Contorno. May 15, 2018.
The Florida supermarket giant Publix has given more money to Adam Putnam's gubernatorial bid than any other candidate since at least 1995 and likely for the entirety of the company's history.
Publix, the heirs to the company's founder and its current and former leaders have given Putnam $670,000 in the last three years — or enough money to buy 74,527 chicken tender subs.
No other Florida candidate has ever come close to that kind of subsidy from Florida's largest Fortune 500 company. Its most recent contribution, a $100,000 donation on April 30, was the largest, too, according to the latest campaign finance filings.
The employee-owned company has also helped bankroll a handful of well-connected business groups who have contributed millions of dollars to the Republican candidate.
Putnam, like Publix, is a product of Polk County. He hails from Bartow, just 20 minutes from Publix's headquarters in Lakeland — which company officials say is a factor in their support for him.