Shortly after news broke that Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried filed to run for Florida governor, the lone statewide Democrat dropped a video on social media, announcing her entry into the field.
The 2-minute spot, officially launching Fried’s gubernatorial campaign, features the marijuana advocate discussing being ‘underestimated’ for much of her life while touting her rise to political prominence after she defeated Republican Matt Caldwell in 2018 to win the only statewide election in Florida by a Democrat since 2012.
“I’m Nikki Fried and I’m here to break the rigged system in Florida. It’s corrupt, it’s anti-democratic, and it’s time for something new,” Fried says in the video. “Like many of you, I’ve been underestimated my whole life. 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.”
It’s time to break the rigged, corrupt system in Florida with #SomethingNew.
— Nikki Fried (@NikkiFried) June 1, 2021
Fried’s campaign to unseat Governor Ron DeSantis and become the first woman to be governor of Florida comes as no surprise as the outspoken DeSantis critic has been dropping hints that she would enter the fray in 2022.
Fried’s bid sets up a future showdown in the Democratic primary between her and a former Florida Republican governor turned Democratic Congressman Charlie Crist. Crist declared his gubernatorial campaign last month.
While Crist is seen as the early Democratic favorite — given his political prowess and experience at the helm — Fried is a formidable opponent in her own right, quickly rising through the ranks to become the face of her party in Florida. Her political committee, Florida Consumers First, which supported her statewide campaign in 2018, holds a cash advantage of about $1,483,947 to Crist’s $746,341.
Fried also holds a lead over Crist on PredictIt, an online prediction market. At the time of this article, Fried is trading at $.12 to Crist’s $.07. DeSantis holds a lead over both, trading at a red-hot $.80 Yes price.