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Political newcomer to run for Florida agriculture commissioner

 

@amysherman1

A University of Miami law student and political newcomer will announce his bid as a Democrat for Florida Agriculture Commissioner Monday.

Michael Christine, 27, filed his paperwork with the state Division of Elections April 11th for the 2018 race. He will graduate from law school in about one month.

The current commissioner, Republican Adam Putnam, is term limited and appears poised to run for governor. The commissioner oversees agriculture and consumer services including registration for conceal carry permits for firearms. 

Christine doesn't have much agriculture experience except for working odd jobs on farms while growing up in rural upstate New York. Hillary Clinton's deputy campaign director in Florida, Samuel Powers, is a consultant to his campaign.

Christine plans to start a petition drive for a state constitutional amendment to legalize cannabis and tax it to generate revenue for state programs.

“We need to build up the declining agro industry by giving them a new cash crop -- one with a proven track record of generating so much excess revenue that it can be used toward other neglected programs throughout the state like educational programs, environmental conservation programs, substance abuse programs and veterans assistance programs,” he says in his announcement video.

On the Republican side, State Sen. Denise Grimsley of Sebring and Paul Paulson of Orlando are running for agriculture commissioner. 

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