It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, especially those in "Scott world" that Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam came out so forcefully against Gov. Rick Scott's decision to back the expansion of Medicaid. Putnam called it "naive" and blasted the decision during a speech he gave in Tallahassee.
There are those who already jumping to the conclusion that Putnam is readying himself to a primary challenge against his fellow Republican.
That still appears to be unlikely.
But there has been a feud quietly building up in the last two years.
There are signs - and speculation among those close to Putnam - that he has been viewed as a possible threat ever since the two men came into office in early 2011.
Whatever the reason there is no question that Putnam and his staff have been put on the defensive in back-to-back legislative sessions because each year the governor's office has hinted at the possibility of a veto of Putnam's top legislative priority.
In the first year the Scott administration discussed internally whether to veto a bill that shifted control of the school lunch program away from the Department of Education and over to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
The main resistance to the legislation came from the State Board of Education (and which had been contemplating banning chocolate milk in schools), but Putnam was able to shepherd the measure through the Legislature and on to Scott's desk without much resistance. Putnam had managed to build up a coalition of support for the legislation and in the end Scott approved the bill.
But that wasn't the end of the tug-of-war between the Scott administration and Putnam's office.
The same year Putnam won control of the school lunch program the Legislature also gave Putnam a larger say over energy issues.
He followed it up in 2012 by pushing what he termed a modest energy bill that restored tax credits for renewable energy projects. That bill, however, ran into fervent opposition, especially from tea party groups and Americans for Prosperity-Florida, which contended the measure created winners and losers.
Scott let the bill become law - but without his signature.
In a letter announcing his decision Scott wrote that he let it become law out of "deference" to Putnam and the legislators pushing it. But he also questioned whether the bill would produce results. "Absent clear documentation that the proposed tax credits have produced a sufficient return or provided significant cost savings for the state's taxpayers, I will request their repeal," Scott wrote.
Putnam referenced the near veto recently - and explained it was why he decided to opt against recommending any major legislation this year.
"We found widespread support in the Legislature and we very nearly had it vetoed," Putnam told Bruce Ritchie of The Florida Current. "So moving forward, we think it's important there is a clear understanding what all of the interested parties' expectations are for future energy development in Florida."
Another warning shot from Scott to Putnam came right after the governor signed his first budget into law. In his veto message Scott openly questioned the "value" of two divisions under Putnam including the Division of Consumer Services. He wrote that Putnam's office had not done a good enough job to justify the money spent on the two divisions and suggested he might eliminate it in the future.
The tension between Scott and Putnam has also been on display during meetings between the governor and the Cabinet. If you watch closely there have been numerous times that Putnam has gingerly waded into some issue, only to cut himself off and not press the item any further. It almost seems as if he wants to say something, but then decides it's not worth the fight.
This coming week will mark the first time that Scott and the three members of the Cabinet - Putnam, Attorney General Pam Bondi and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater - have met publicly since the Medicaid expansion debate began.
Bondi and Atwater have also criticized the decision by Scott to support Medicaid expansion.
Bondi and Scott have for the most part forged a close-working relationship prior to this moment so it's not clear whether this will prove detrimental. Atwater and Scott have had some mild disagreements - particularly in the arena of insurance regulation and Citizens Property Insurance - but the two did work together on pushing changes to the personal injury protection law (PIP).
The biggest question moving ahead is whether Putnam, Bondi or Atwater take time to keep up their opposition to Medicaid expansion and actively lobby against it in the Legislature.
All three members have side-stepped many controversial issues since coming into office in 2011 - refusing to take a stance on numerous items.
Case in point - Putnam was slow wading into the debate over Internet cafes even though the storefront operations have been able to expand by contending they fall under sweepstakes operations (which are regulated by Putnam's office.) It wasn't until after his first session as commissioner that Putnam suggested lawmakers needed to decide if Internet cafes were legal.
But with 2014 right around the corner it will be interesting to see whether or not Putnam - as well as Bondi and Atwater - decide to ratchet up their profiles and battles with the governor.