Jack Latvala

Latvala, considered a GOP moderate, running for governor

Jack Latvala — a powerful, sometimes surly state senator seen as a moderate Republican voice — entered the race for Florida governor Wednesday, taking on better-known, more conservative and better-funded primary opponent Adam Putnam for the GOP nomination to replace Gov. Rick Scott.

Latvala, 65, immediately took aim at 43-year-old Putnam, who was 22 when he was elected to the state House in 1996 and has held elected office ever since, including 10 years in Congress and now two terms as agriculture commissioner.

"We can't have a governor who just goes along to get along or who is in office to get a next office, to be a U.S. senator or president. This office is the end of...