Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who on Wednesday morning formally kicks off his campaign for governor on the steps of the 108-year-old former Polk County Courthouse in his hometown of Bartow, has assembled an A-list campaign team. Potentially more important is his Imperial Polk County DNA, considering the political giants Polk has produced for Florida.
The operatives on Putnam's team include veterans of Putnam's two decade political career, including Mac Stevenson of Sarasota-based Political Insights, and Justin Hollis, handling fundraising. Amanda Bevis, Putnam's former deputy chief of staff at the state Department of Agriculture, is handling communications.
The Tarrance Group, which has helped elect dozens of senators and governors, including Govs. John Kasich of Ohio, Scott Walker of Wisconson, Phil Bryant of Mississippi, and Mitch Snyder of Michigan, is the pollster. Putnam's ad guy is Jim Innocenzi of Sandler-Innocenzi, which for three decades has worked with clients including Ben Carson, Govs. Dave Heineman of Nebraska, Butch Otter of Idaho, and Jim Gibbons of Nevada, and Florida U.S. Reps. Tom Rooney and John Mica.