"I have no idea where DeSantis is in Florida, in the homeowner's insurance crisis, in flood insurance," said Mike Fasano, a former Republican legislator from the north of Tampa who is now a tax collector in support of Mr Putnam inclined. "Every time I hear something about him, it's Trump."
A walk through the thoroughly scrutinized GOP candidate bazaar in Sarasota on Saturday made it easy to understand why state appeals prove ineffective The most important theme this year in Florida, responded Gladys Green, a local Republican activist with one of the stalls , fast: "the illegals." She added that "there is no immigration, it is an invasion" and argued that migrants are "absolutely ruining Europe."
"Here's a guy who did everything right, who would be a phenomenal governor, who is a wonderful person and what are you doing?" Said Joe Gruters, a Republican state legislator and friend of Mr. Putnam. He suggested that Mr. Putnam tear down his negative ads and look "a comeback in eight years".
Mr. Putnam, who is most passionate in praising the splendor of Florida and telling his life on the citrus groves of his family, will not easily stop. But he is not blind for the moment either.
In an interview before plunging into the Sarasota Assembly, he noted that Mr. DeSantis's offer for Governor came just after a canceled Senate run in 2016, arguing that voters would do that. Come on to see his rival as "someone more interested in what the open higher office is at this moment than in changing that office itself."
This distinction would become clearer, Mr. Putnam insisted. "But," he allowed with an audible knock on his cowboy boots, "these are interesting times."