JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – Candidates have started lining up early for statewide offices. Adam Putnam, the commissioner of agriculture who is running for governor, launched his campaign a week ago in his hometown of Bartow and had about 2,000 supporters there.
Wednesday night, just fewer than 200 showed up at Angie's Subs in Jacksonville Beach to cheer a Republican front-runner for governor in the next term.
Lots of people had a chance to shake hands and take photos with Putnam after he explained his vision for Florida and talked about the need to continue marketing the state to tourists and businesses.
He also wants a statewide water policy that makes sense and more money for education.
Putnam spent 10 years in Washington as a U.S. representative, serving alongside Corrine Brown.
"It’s sad," Putnam said when asked about Brown's conviction last week on fraud and corruption charges. "(It's) sad when people empowered with public trust abuse that public trust, when they lose their way, when they begin to enrich themselves instead of serving the people who put them there. It’s a sad situation all around, and I think the jury made the right decision."
News4Jax asked Putnam if he could have imagined what would happen with Brown after working with her on issues for Florida all those years.
“It’s just a travesty, because when she was locked in on an issue, nobody was better," he said "It’s just a shame she took her eye off public service and made it about self-service."
Putnam has another event Thursday morning at Tasty's Fresh Burgers and Fries in Fernandina Beach.
Watch "This Week in Jacksonville" Sunday morning on Channel 4 to see the extended interview with Putnam.