Agricultural Commission

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A follow-up report on the handling of the state’s concealed-carry permitting process pointed to a lack of management oversight by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, but the agency claims it is addressing the issues.

Newly-Elected Ag Commissioner Promises Audit Of Gun Program

Dec 4, 2018

Florida's newly elected agriculture commissioner is vowing to conduct a "deep dive" into the state's concealed weapons permit program once she is sworn into office.

This post was updated with new information at 12:00 p.m., Nov. 7, 2018.

In the race to be Florida's next Commissioner of Agriculture, at first it looked like Republican state Rep. Matt Caldwell narrowly beat out Democratic candidate Nikki Fried.

Caldwell had claimed victory at his election watch party in North Fort Myers. 

But now, the race is too close to call and will be going into a manual recount.

After 11:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, just over than 12,000 votes separated the candidates. That means Fried and Caldwell are 0.16 percent apart.

The candidates to be Florida’s next Commissioner of Agriculture have a number of stark differences -- not least of which are their backgrounds.

State Rep. Matt Caldwell, the Republican candidate, is a seventh generation Floridian from a family of farmers. Democrat Nikki Fried, a public defender and medical-marijuana lobbyist, is from urban South Florida.