TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — After losing the Democratic nomination for governor last year, Nikki Fried is back to announce her official bid to run as Chair of the Florida Democratic Party. The former agriculture commissioner spent four years telling Floridians that she was the only statewide elected Democrat and often spoke publicly on issues unrelated to agriculture.
Fried was elected in 2018 but ran for governor last year instead of seeking re-election for a second term in her Cabinet-level position. Although she lost the Democratic primary to former Governor Charlie Crist, Fried continues to show hostility on social media towards Florida Republicans and their policies.
Previously, Fried said she would not run for chairperson, but after several local Democratic leaders asked her to reconsider, she announced her decision in a statement released today.
According to the News Service of Florida, Fried wrote in a prepared statement that she would “commit to rebuilding our party from the ground up” after the Democratic Party lost every statewide race and multiple seats in the state's congressional races and the Florida Legislature.
LISTENING TO FRIENDS
“My decision is not one made lightly, it comes after months of listening to friends, advisers, and Democrats across the state,” Fried wrote in the statement. “Florida Democratic Party chair was not the path I had originally envisioned for myself, but too much is at stake to sit on the sidelines – from women’s rights, economic opportunity, and climate change to affordable housing, protecting our Democracy and education. We have to unite our diverse voices and refocus on the issues and grassroots organizing that wins elections.”
Within a week of the announcement that former Democratic Party of Florida Chair Manny Diaz was resigning, Democrats began announcing their intention to run for new party chair. Fried joins a growing list of candidates, including political consultant Alex Berrios, Tallahassee City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow, Broward Democrats Chair Rick Hoye and former state Sen. Annette Taddeo.