Adam Putnam

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Adam Putnam
Adam Putnam.jpg
11th Agriculture Commissioner of Florida
Assumed office
January 4, 2011
Governor Rick Scott
Preceded by Charles Bronson
Chair of the House Republican Conference
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2009
Leader John Boehner
Preceded by Deborah Pryce
Succeeded by Mike Pence
Chair of the House Republican Policy Committee
In office
February 1, 2006 – January 3, 2007
Leader Dennis Hastert
Preceded by John Shadegg
Succeeded by Thad McCotter
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 12th district
In office
January 3, 2001 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by Charles Canady
Succeeded by Dennis Ross
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 63rd district
In office
November 5, 1996 – November 7, 2000
Preceded by Dean Saunders[1]
Succeeded by Dennis Ross
Personal details
Born Adam Hughes Putnam
(1974-07-31) July 31, 1974 (age 43)
Bartow, Florida, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Melissa Putnam
Education University of Florida (BS)
Website Official website

Adam Hughes Putnam (born July 31, 1974) is an American politician of the Republican Party serving as Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture, elected in 2010. He served in Congress for ten years, representing the Central Florida-based 12th Congressional district. He was the House Republican Conference Chairman from 2007-2009.

In May 2017, he announced he was running for Florida governor in the 2018 election.[2] He is one of eight candidates running for the Republican party nomination.

Early life, education and career[edit]

Putnam was born in Bartow, Florida, the son of Sarah Elizabeth (née Hughes) and William Dudley Putnam II.[3] He graduated from Bartow High School and attended the University of Florida, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in food and resource economics. While at the University of Florida, Putnam was a brother of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity.

In 1996, Putnam was elected to the Florida House of Representatives, representing parts of Polk County. At 22 years old, he was the youngest person ever elected to the Florida Legislature.[4] He was reelected to a second term in 1998. While in the state house, he served as chair of the Agriculture Committee.[5]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

In 2000, Putnam ran for the U.S. House seat being vacated by retiring Congressman Charles Canady. The district, numbered the 12th, included all of Putnam's house constituency as well as other areas of Polk County and rural Central Florida. He faced no opposition in the Republican primary, and defeated Democrat Mike Stedem in the general election, 57 to 43%.[6] Taking office when he was 26 years old, Putnam was the youngest member of Congress from 2001 to 2005. Putnam was reelected in 2002 to a redistricted seat that included most of Polk County as well as parts of neighboring Hillsborough and Osceola Counties.[7] He was reelected three more times after that, serving a total of ten years in Congress.

Committee assignments[edit]


On October 10, 2002, Putnam voted in favor of authorizing the invasion of Iraq.[8]

In February 2006, Putnam became a member of the House leadership, assuming the role of chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, the fifth-ranking Republican leadership position in the House. In November 2006, Putnam was elected by his colleagues as House Republican Conference Chairman, the third-highest ranking position.[9] Following House Republican losses in the 2008 general election, he resigned his post as Conference Chairman. In 2010 The Florida Independent reported that Putnam had earmarked $100,000 for an abscission chemical used in citrus harvesting that The Florida Independent said would benefit his family's citrus business.[10]

Putnam described himself as one of Congress's leading supporters of developmental education for children from low-income families and was the author of the Head Start Accountability Bill.[11] Putnam was also the co-chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus. He was the youngest member of Congress when he took office in 2001 at age 26, just one year after becoming constitutionally eligible. In 2005, Patrick McHenry, a year younger than Putnam and also a Southern Republican, was elected to Congress. However, McHenry was 29 at his inauguration, meaning of all members of Congress at the time, Putnam had still taken office the earliest in his life. This distinction would hold until Putnam left the House in 2011.[citation needed]

Putnam was a signatory to the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.[12]

Gonzales' ouster[edit]

After the numerous calls by Democrats, including Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Putnam became the top Republican in either house to call for the ouster of former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. "For the good of the nation, I think it is time for fresh leadership at the Department of Justice", Putnam said.[13] This was met with surprise by many Republicans, who were remaining silent on the Gonzales issue. However, Putnam mentioned that there remained severe discontent within the GOP circle over Gonzales and as the Chairman of the House Republican Conference, he thought that it was important to send this message out.[13]

Commissioner of Agriculture[edit]

In February 2009, Putnam declared himself a candidate for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture in the 2010 election and that he would not seek a sixth term in Congress.[14] Putnam won the election over Democratic opponent Scott Maddox with 56% of the vote.

Putnam was reelected in 2014.

Electoral history[edit]

Florida's 12th Congressional District Election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Adam Putnam 125,224 57.0
Democratic Mike Stedem 94,395 43.0
Write-in Rubye Harrison 3 0.0
Write-in Don Kennedy 3 0.0
Florida's 12th Congressional District Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Adam Putnam (inc.) n/a 100.0
Florida's 12th Congressional District Republican Primary Election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Adam Putnam (inc.) 42,605 92.3
Republican Robert Wirengard 3,546 7.7
Florida's 12th Congressional District Election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Adam Putnam (inc.) 179,204 64.9
Democratic Bob Hagenmaier 96,965 35.1
Florida's 12th Congressional District Election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Adam Putnam (inc.) 124,452 69.1
Independent Joe Viscusi 34,976 19.4
Independent Ed Bowlin 20,636 11.5
Florida's 12th Congressional District Election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Adam Putnam (inc.) 185,698 57.5
Democratic Doug Tudor 137,465 42.5
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Adam Putnam 2,908,086 55.9
Democratic Scott Maddox 1,983,277 38.1
Tea Ira Chester 203,598 3.9
Independent Thad Hamilton 103,717 2.0
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Adam Putnam (inc.) 3,342,392 58.7
Democratic Thaddeus "Thad" Hamilton 2,356,178 41.3
Write-in Jeffrey Obos 213 0.0


  1. ^
  2. ^ Bouffard, Kevin (2017-05-01). "Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam running for governor". Lakeland Ledger. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ D'Angelo, Bob (2016-11-11). "College student becomes youngest elected to Florida House of Representatives". WFXT. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Florida Department of State - 2000 Election Results". Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  7. ^ "2002 Congressional Plan". Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  8. ^ Vite in favor of invasion of Iraq,; accessed January 22, 2015.
  9. ^ "Putnam gets No. 3 House GOP leadership post",, November 17, 2006.
  10. ^ Chamlee, Virginia. "Florida representatives receive low marks from taxpayer watchdog group", The Florida Independent, August 23, 2010; retrieved January 22, 2015.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Current Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers Archived 2011-07-25 at the Wayback Machine.,; accessed January 22, 2015.
  13. ^ a b Smith, Donna. "House Republican Leader Says Gonzales Should Go", Reuters, 2007-04-20; retrieved 2010-10-28.
  14. ^ "Putnam to give up seat". The Politico. Associated Press. 2009-02-01. Retrieved 2009-02-01. 

External links[edit]

Florida House of Representatives
Preceded by
Dean Saunders
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 63rd district

Succeeded by
Dennis Ross
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Charles Canady
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 12th congressional district

Succeeded by
Dennis Ross
Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Bronson
Agriculture Commissioner of Florida
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Harold Ford
Baby of the House
Succeeded by
Patrick McHenry
Party political offices
Preceded by
John Shadegg
Chair of the House Republican Policy Committee
Succeeded by
Thad McCotter
Preceded by
Deborah Pryce
Chair of the House Republican Conference
Succeeded by
Mike Pence