Even with voters across the state paying attention to the GOP gubernatorial candidates during last week’s Sunshine Summit, hosted by the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF). with less two months to go until the primary, there remains no favorite as state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., continue to clash.
At the same time as the RPOF held its event at the Gaylord Palms resort in Kissimmee, downstairs there was a statewide gathering of roofing contractors and business owners, seemingly a prime target audience for the GOP.
Florida Daily found lots of roofers that identified with the Republican Party, but not too many that were ready to pick a candidate. Rob Thomas of Orlando told Florida Daily that he just wanted someone truthful be it a Republican or even a Democrat as long as they were “willing to do the right thing,”
David Dickey of Milton said he’s not voting for a Democrat but is still trying to make up his mind on which Republican to support. He told Florida Daily he is leaning toward Putnam but looking for someone “conservative and anti-abortion” as he mulls over who to support in the primary.
Not surprisingly, the economy was a hot topic for the roofers. Todd Piorkowski of Orlando sad he was a Republican who is moderate to conservative and tells Florida Daily while he is already paying attention, he has not made a choice yet. Piorkowski hopes whoever the GOP nominates will embrace Gov. Rick Scott’s economic policies.
“I appreciate what Governor Scott has done the last several years when it comes to jobs and putting companies first,” he said. “I think he’s done great with our economy. There’s been no issues there for me.”
There is also the transplant vote which is always a factor in Florida. Kathy just moved to Port St. Lucie two weeks ago and has not even registered yet. She told Florida Daily she will become a Republican in time for the primary and is looking at each candidate’s education policy.
“Education…is very important,” she said. “I don’t have any children…in school, but I think the issue for the people here going forward should be education.”
The polls show no clear favorite. The most recent poll came from Fox News and it showed Putnam had nearly double the support of Ron DeSantis, leading 32 percent to 17 percent. However, almost half of those surveyed–46 percent–remain undecided.
Reach Mike Synan at Mike.Synan@floridadaily.com.