Publix Super Markets Inc. is facing a possible boycott after the store gave $670,000 to Adam Putnam — a pro-business, pro-Second Amendment candidate running for governor of Florida.
— Adam Putnam (@adamputnam) July 26, 2017
Putnam has claimed to be a champion of the Second Amendment but had trouble committing to a firm stance on the new firearm restrictions Governor Rick Scott signed into law. Putnam’s opponent, Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis, said he would have vetoed the law, which raised the shotgun and rifle purchase age from 18 to 21, banned bump stocks, and instituted a three-day waiting period to purchase long guns.
Anti-gun activist and Parkland student David Hogg also commented on the story and said he would be joining the effort to boycott the popular southeast super market chain.
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) May 15, 2018
The hashtag, #BoycottPublix, was shared on social media and has put the company on the defensive.
Publix has come out publicly and stated they have a history of supporting pro-business candidates and claim they have not donated to the NRA (National Rifle Association) directly.
…number of factors. Publix has not provided financial support to the National Rifle Association. ■Matthew 2/2
— Publix (@Publix) May 15, 2018
The Daily Caller News Foundation spoke with Maria Brous, director of media and community relations for Publix and she said the company regrets the divide their donation has created among their customer base and supplied TheDCNF with a statement:
As the largest private employer in the state of Florida, and with the majority of our stores and our corporate headquarters located here as well, we have a history of supporting candidates focused on job growth and a healthy Florida economy.
We regret that some of our political contributions have led to an unintentional customer divide instead of our desire to support a growing economy in Florida.
Publix cares about our associates, customers and the communities we serve. It is important to understand that the vast majority of our giving is focused on organizations whose mission supports youth, education and the plight of the hungry and homeless within our area of operation.
As a result of this situation, we are evaluating our processes to ensure that our giving better reflects our intended desire to support a strong economy and a healthy community.
TheDCNF also reached out to the Putnam campaign for comment, but Putnam did not reference the donation, social media hype or his views on the Second Amendment in his statement. Instead, he expressed his pride for Publix and said he will continue to be a proud shopper.
I’m so proud that Publix calls Florida home. They got their start in Polk County and are consistently ranked as one of the top places to work in the nation. They provide more than 100,000 jobs for hard-working Floridians and are the epitome of customer service and quality. I’m a proud Store No. 3 shopper.
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