Thursday morning, Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam joined supporters in Palm Beach Gardens for an “Up & Adam” Breakfast. He addressed an intimate group and painted a picture of continued growth and success for the Sunshine state, building on the foundation Governor Scott has created.
If Governor Scott’s battle cry for the last seven years has been “jobs, jobs, jobs” it is safe to say Putnam’s battle cry is “Florida first.” Putnam explained that if Floridians put their state first, Florida can become a launch pad for the American Dream.
For many, the American Dream has become something of a cliché, something read about in history textbooks. But Putnam’s Florida first vision, which focuses on building a strong workforce, will revive the American Dream right here in the Sunshine state.
With an increasing demand for technical jobs in fields such as advanced manufacturing and nursing, the goal is to attract and retain local talent. Workforce training, technical education programs, and de-stigmatizing technical careers are the first steps to putting Florida on the path to becoming an incubator for the American Dream.
There is little question that the perspective Putnam brings to the governor’s race and his goal to turn Florida into ground zero for the American Dream is something that resonates not just with the older generation, but with Millennials.
Targeting Millennials with his messaging, Putnam is working hard to energize the largest voting block in 2018. Surpassing the Baby Boomer Generation for the first time 2018, Millennial voters will carry a lot of pull in determining who occupies the Governor’s Mansion next November. Given Putnam’s focus on the workforce, the American Dream, and cultivating business climate for Floridians, it is safe to say, he has taken note.
The make it or break it factor for Putnam in the governor’s race will come down to two things: Trump and turning out the vote. For Trump supporters, their memories have not faded of the days when Putnam withheld support from their favorite candidate. Rumor has it that longtime Trump supporters are lukewarm on their support of Putnam and are waiting to see if Congressman DeSantis makes a run for governor. Should DeSantis run, his candidacy will pull from the Republican base, forcing Putnam to work overtime in wooing voters.
On the other side of the coin, Millennial voters as a whole are a potpourri of voters in their support for Trump. Ranging from #NotMyPresident to #TrumpTrain, Putnam is walking a fine line and will have to decide between aligning himself with Trump and his policies or keeping his distance all together. Unfortunately, there is no solid answer, and this will no doubt pose a problem the closer Florida gets to the primary election.
As seen in previous elections, Millennial voters are fickle and often times apathetic, while Trump supporters are a loyal bunch committed to only supporting those who support their Commander in Chief.
At the end of the day, the “Up & Adam” Breakfast gave Putnam the chance to address a group mixed with both Trump supporters and Millennials and to share his vision for the Sunshine state. There is no question Putnam’s goal of putting Florida first is a great vision to help Florida thrive long after the sun sets on Rick Scott’s time as governor. Looking ahead to 2018, Putnam will have to make some tough decisions on where he will fall on the GOP spectrum if he wants to secure a strong base of voters. Here’s hoping Putnam makes the right choice and chooses to put Florida First.