Nikki Fried, Florida’s commissioner of agriculture and client products and services and the highest-ranking Democrat within the state, introduced a bid on Tuesday to problem Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
Fried, 43, an lawyer, is these days Florida’s handiest statewide Democratic elected respectable. She is because of compete for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination towards Rep. Charlie Crist (D), who in the past ruled Florida as a average Republican.
“I’ve stood up my entire existence for individuals who wanted a fighter, for individuals who are searching for justice,” Fried informed HuffPost. “And now I’m going to be status up for the folks of our state as governor.”
Portray herself as a champion of unusual Floridians, Fried stated she has stood up for farmers as commissioner and sought “justice” for defendants whilst running as a public defender.
“At each and every flip, I’ve noticed a machine this is rigged towards the folks of our state,” Fried stated. “It’s time to damage that machine.”
As agriculture commissioner, Fried, a former lobbyist for Florida’s scientific marijuana business, has overseen the state’s legalization of the industrial hemp business, and brought steps to protect Florida’s waterways from air pollution and depletion.
In her capability as head of the dep. that approves concealed-carry gun lets in, Fried has additionally ended the state executive’s shut coordination with the Nationwide Rifle Affiliation.
“I took at the NRA and kicked them out of our division,” she stated.
DeSantis has turn into one thing of a countrywide Republican celebrity prior to now 12 months due to his insistence on reopening Florida’s faculties and companies faster than many Democratic governors.
We’ve had twenty years of Republican governors. It’s time for one thing new.
Nikki Fried, Florida agriculture commissioner
However as DeSantis positions himself for a conceivable 2024 run for president, Fried and different Democrats are making a bet that sufficient electorate are grew to become off by means of his standing as a conservative icon.
“Ron has absolutely embraced a right-wing time table and an authoritarian taste of governing that matches extra for a regime than, reasonably in truth, the state of Florida,” she stated.
DeSantis has taken some steps that experience acquire with moderates, alternatively, together with giving public school teachers a $1,000 bonus. And electorate’ approval of a $15 minimal salary via a state referendum in 2020 has taken that factor off the desk.
Fried, who hopes to amplify Medicaid as governor, strengthen infrastructure and shore up the state’s defenses towards the consequences of local weather trade, may even face a tricky fight towards Crist.
Crist served as a Republican governor of Florida from 2007 to 2011. After actually and figuratively embracing then-President Barack Obama, Crist was once poised to lose his 2010 bid for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination. Crist withdrew from the principle and ran an unsuccessful bid for the Senate as an unbiased.
In 2016, after officially affiliating as a Democrat, Crist received a Space seat within the Tampa space.
Fried expressed fear that Crist’s choice to run may price Democrats his Space seat after state Republicans redraw district traces. And he or she took veiled digs at Crist’s previous as a Republican.
“We’ve had twenty years of Republican governors,” Fried stated. “It’s time for one thing new.”
“What you spot is what you get from me. I haven’t modified my positions or what I imagine in,” she added.
Fried additionally believes that she is the best-equipped Democrat to oust DeSantis. In 2018, a 12 months when each and every different statewide Florida Democrat misplaced their race, she prevailed.
“I’ve been up towards odds my whole existence,” she stated, noting that she was once each the primary feminine pupil frame president on the College of Florida and the state’s first feminine agriculture commissioner. “I’ve fought the nice outdated boys up right here in Tallahassee.”
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Join club to turn into a founding member and assist form HuffPost’s subsequent bankruptcy