SUN SENTINEL: Nation, state need pols who aim for the middle

Sun Sentinel: Written by Randy Schultz. August 15, 2017.

Adam Putnam shows why Florida – like the rest of the nation – has at least three political parties.

Not so long ago, Putnam would have been the nearly uncontested Republican candidate for governor in 2018. As agriculture commissioner, he’s held statewide office for eight years. Putnam previously served five terms in Congress, rising to a leadership position in the House. His political action committee has raised nearly $10 million.

Yet last week Putnam got a credible challenger from his own party. State Sen. Jack Latvala, R-St. Petersburg, will write that chamber’s budget in the 2018 legislative session. That role allows him to raise lots of his own money. It’s been four decades since a state senator became governor – Bob Graham – but Latvala is one of Florida’s most accomplished politicians.

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