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Dueling sheriff's endorsements in Florida ag race

Republican Congressman Adam Putnam and his chief Democratic rival in the agriculture commissioner's race, Scott Maddox, released dueling lists of endorsements from Florida sheriffs on Tuesday.

Putnam, who represents a Central Florida district, won the numbers game with 37 sheriffs (and the PBA) backing his campaign. Maddox, the former mayor of Tallahassee, held a press conference in his hometown to announce the support of seven sheriffs and the Fraternal Order of Police.

Maddox also received an endorsement from well-known TV host John Bunnell, a former Oregon sheriff who  is featured in shows like COPS and America's Most Wanted. Maddox said he didn't get the PBA endorsement because of the union's long-running feud with his father, who helped start the organization.

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services includes about 250 law enforcement officers. In a sign of how the two candidates are positioning themselves, Putnam emphasized the officers role in inspecting agriculture products while Maddox talked about the role the department plays in investigating consumer fraud.

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