After months of testing the waters and teasing a run for governor, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has officially launched her bid to take on incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
Fried announced the run Tuesday afternoon, posting a video to her official Twitter account.
“Like many of you, I’ve been underestimated my whole life,” she continued. “I was underestimated when I fought corruption as a public defender. I was underestimated when I took on the big banks during the foreclosure crisis to keep families in their homes. And I was underestimated in 2018, when I said a Democrat from Miami could be elected Commissioner of Agriculture. But we did it. We cracked the system, and got to work.”
Fried claimed that in her role as Agriculture Commissioner, she has fought the NRA, confronted racism, and addressed the “climate crisis.”
She promised to “break the system” several times during the video, but did not explain exactly what that means.
She also reposted the video twice, with Spanish and Haitian Creole subtitles, respectively.
The Republican Governor’s Association wasted no time in condemning Fried.
“No one is shocked. After months using her platform as a taxpayer-funded official to run a shadow political campaign, Nikki Fried is finally in. But Fried has a long slog ahead of her,” that group said in a press release. “Despite her desperate attempts to stake a claim and clear the field earlier this year, Fried now has to convince Florida Democrats she’s worthy of their support, all while dodging questions about her personal and financial ties to industries she regulates. Grab your popcorn, because this one is going to be fun to watch.”
The release included a quote from RGA spokeswoman Joanna Rodriguez.
“Instead of using her office to work for the people of Florida, Nikki Fried has spent the last 2 and a half years working to better herself,” Rodriguez said. “Floridians want someone who will fight for them tirelessly, and Fried’s desperate political posturing and reliance on lies and pandering to make a point prove she’s the exact opposite of what Florida needs.”
Fried will square off with former Republican Florida governor turned Democrat congressman Charlie Crist in a primary.
Recent polling shows DeSantis beating both Fried and Crist handily.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Florida Capital Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to email@example.com.
Photo “Nikki Fried” by Nikki Fried. Background Photo “Florida Senate Capitol” by Michael Rivera CC 3.0.