Jeff Porter, three-term mayor of Homestead, is qualified, knowledgeable, and is in it to win – and Community Newspapers fully endorses his efforts at doing just that, in his run for Florida Agriculture Commissioner.
Last fall, Porter was elected to his third two-year term as mayor of Homestead, a seat he had to give up in order to run for this state office. He previously had served one term as vice mayor and 10 years on the Homestead City Council. He is a proud Homestead native who spent part of his childhood in Mississippi before returning to attend Miami Dade College and has lived here since.
Everyone knows that Homestead is one of the leading agricultural cities in Miami-Dade County, which is second only to Palm Beach County in agricultural products sold in Florida. So clearly Porter’s well established perspective on agriculture will serve him well in this new capacity as Agriculture Commissioner.
Porter worked with both farm laborers and growers during many tough times including floods, hurricanes, frost warnings, and fruit-fly infestation. He has been encouraged by the support that has been pledged to him by many community leaders for his run for Commissioner of Agriculture.
Throughout Porter’s 2017 re-election campaign, he ran on a promises-made, promises-kept platform. As mayor, he never raised taxes, yet oversaw a revitalization of his city that many have praised for being one of the most family-friendly cities to live in Florida. Property values have gone up and the crime rate has gone down under the leadership of Mayor Porter.
During his past years of public service to the City of Homestead, he served as Chairman of Homestead Public Safety Committee, Chairman of Homestead Transportation Committee, Chairman of Public Works Committee, Chairman of the Military Affairs Committee, Chairman of Public Safety and Chairman of the Mayor’s Community Policing Committee.
Mayor Porter was also a member of the following committees: Committee of the Whole, Finance, Hero & Economic Development, Community Development, Parks and Recreation/Beautification, Utility, Education, City Code, Public Safety, Police Explorers, Annexation & City Hall, and management Review and the Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Mayor Porter also currently serves on many boards including Florida’s Municipal Electric Association, The Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County League of Cities, the Homestead Planning & Zoning Board, the Homestead/Florida City Chamber of Commerce, and the Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization.
And now he is setting his sights on the serious challenges facing the agriculture industry over the last 20 or 30 years, with farmers going out of business. He has stated that even though this is the only place where produce can be grown in the winter to feed the nation, he is deeply concerned that we’ve become totally reliant on food that comes from foreign countries. As Agriculture Commissioner he will work to address these issues that have nearly risen to the level of a national security threat.
The Agriculture Department is organized into 12 divisions including plant industry, marketing and development, forestry, fruit and vegetables, animal industry, standards (including weights and measures), dairy, environmental laboratories, food safety, licensing, and a support division. The office’s budget in 2014 was $1.4 billion.
Because of Mayor Porter’s long record of public service, he says he believes he is the most qualified candidate to head the myriad departments that the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services oversees – and the Community Newspapers agrees. We fully support Mayor Porter’s run in the primary election Aug. 28.