State Rep. Matt Caldwell topped a four-way Republican primary for agriculture commissioner Tuesday, while lawyer and medical-marijuana lobbyist Nikki Fried had an easier time emerging from a field of three Democrats to become her party’s nominee for the Cabinet post.
The two will now go head-to-head in November to replace term-limited Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who lost a bid for governor Tuesday night.
Caldwell, R-North Fort Myers, won the GOP primary with nearly 35 percent of the vote, as state Sen. Denise Grimsley of Sebring and former Rep. Baxter Troutman of Winter Haven each grabbed about 26 percent. Mike McCalister, a palm-tree farmer and retired Army colonel from Plant City, rounded out the voting with almost 13 percent.
Former Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Ashley Moody, who had to counter attacks by her primary opponent about being registered in the past as a Democrat, advanced as the Republican nominee for attorney general.
Meanwhile, state Rep. Sean Shaw of Tampa won the Democratic nomination as he continues his bid to become the state’s first African-American attorney general.
Moody and Shaw will face off in November with Jeff Siskind, an attorney from Wellington running without a party affiliation to replace term-limited Attorney General Pam Bondi.