Democratic candidate for Commissioner of Agriculture Scott Maddox stopped by the IN offices Tuesday afternoon. Maddox said that even though his opponent, Adam Putnam, has “vastly” outspent him, the race is a statistical tie. He sees the post as being about more than just agriculture.
“The Commissioner of Agriculture is the state’s chief consumer advocate,” Maddox said. “He is one of four votes on the Florida Cabinet where statewide policy is made.”
Maddox is an vocal opponent against offshore drilling. “While others were saying last year,’Drill, baby, drill.’ I was saying, ‘No, baby, no.'”
“It doesn’t create jobs in our state. The jobs are at the refineries in Louisiana and Texas. There’s no savings at our pumps–there’s never more than a 10-cent difference in our gas prices and those in Louisiana.”
While he was fighting offshore drilling around the state, Maddox says that Putnam still advocated it, even four days after the Deepwater Horizon explosion. “He has made no pledge against offshore drilling and won’t commit to a constitutional amendment against it.”
Maddox said that the decision to allow offshore drilling will probably be made at the Florida Cabinet. If Rick Scott is elected governor and Putman AG commissioner, Maddox says that the two pro-drilling politicians will control the decision on drilling since there are only four cabinet members and the governor can break the tie.
Maddox is positive about the Democratic Party’s chances in this election. “Democrats struggle nationally. but our statewide candidates are heads and shoulders above the Republicans.”
He spoke to Rick Scott’s past, particularly HCA and its medicare fraud: “He has no prior civic or community experience. It’s mind-boggling that he is running for governor.”
Maddox is depending on word-of-mouth to win him this race and places to push hard right up to the election day.
“It’s neck and neck.”
Note: I hope to interview Adam Putnam today