UPDATE: Q&A Meet the candidates for Commissioner of Agriculture

What motivated you to run, and what will your top priority be?


“I am running to address the issues that I believe will define this office in the coming decade: jobs, water, and our 2nd Amendment rights.”

Matt Caldwell





“Seeing firsthand the broken nature of Florida politics with medical marijuana. We voted twice. It passed the second time around with 72% of the vote. Then the legislature and governor did everything they could to block the law’s implementation and patient access. To deny the clear and overwhelming will of the people of Florida. I want to go to Tallahassee and be an advocate for patients, caregivers, physicians and expanded access to medical marijuana, but I also want to bring some sanity to our state’s politics. It’s not about left vs right or red vs blue, it’s about getting things done for the people of Florida. I think that’s been lost somewhere along the way.”

Nicole “Nikki” Fried



“We are the sum total of our life experiences. And I think my life experiences have led me to the place where I am best prepared to serve you as Agriculture Commissioner. I am a conservative. I know the ins and outs of agriculture as a farmer and a rancher. I am dedicated to fighting for Floridians who are being barraged by scam artists and I will also defend the Second Amendment and our concealed carry program. I’ll be ready on Day One to facilitate innovations that help our farmers and ranchers thrive in the 21st century.”

Denise Grimsley



“What motivated me to run is my experience with the military. I have degree in agriculture and a Florida agriculture license, so I have that experience both in degree, licensing and hands-on. In the military I was a logistics officer at one time. I was responsible for the weapons, mess halls, vehicle repairs, fuels and water purification for a combat engineer battalion, and all of that falls under this job in Florida. My top priorities are number one protect Florida families’ freedom, food, water and animals. The second one is to grow Florida’s jobs and economy through agriculture.”

Mike McCalister



“For too long, the Office has been neglected because Republican Adam Putnam has been running for Governor for the eight years he has been Commissioner of Agriculture.  He has always seen this position as a stepping stone to higher office.  I will bring much needed attention and leadership to the job as I have done for the past five years as Mayor of Miami-Dade County’s fifth largest city.  One of my main goals will be to work with farmers and ranchers to harvest their product and get the best price possible at market, not run for another office.”

Jeffrey Duane Porter



“The assault on our environment and water is intensifying and no end in sight. I’m running to bring science back to Tallahassee. As Commissioner, I will hold those that pollute our water responsible. I will apply evidence base policies to conserve our environment and water, grow our agriculture industry, investing in research to help our farmers, protect Floridians by enforcing regulations already in process and find ways to improve these policies for true consumer protection. It is time we bring an outsider, who will work for all Floridians and understand that our environment is connected to our economy, to Tallahassee.”

Roy David Walker



“I first ran for Ag Commissioner at the age of 17 at the American Legions’ leadership program ‘Boys State.’ As a child, I was raised on citrus groves. To this day, I own groves throughout central Florida. It’s imperative that Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture understand the plight of the farmer. I’m not running to advance my political career – you couldn’t melt me down and poor me into the Governor’s Mansion or Washington DC. I’m running to help the community I grew up in. I’m a farmer and rancher, and I want to be Ag Commissioner to help farmers and ranchers everywhere in the Sunshine State.”

Baxter Troutman






Read the full interview in the July 19 issue of Navarre Press. The interview with Troutman was published in the Aug. 2 issue of Navarre Press.

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