Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried teased her gubernatorial bid on Wednesday, releasing a video further hinting at her eventual entry into the 2022 race for Florida governor.
Adding fuel to the speculative fire, Fried released a video that all but said she’s running to take on Governor Ron DeSantis in 2022. The somewhat soft campaign launch promised “#SomethingNew,” teasing an official campaign announcement on June 1.
The video focuses on Fried’s rise to political prominence, featuring news clips of outlets touting her as the “new face” of the Democratic Party and painting her as the “early frontrunner” in the race to unseat DeSantis. The ad also takes aim at the Governor, replaying Fried’s “greatest hits.”
If Fried does decide to run, her entry into the field would come on the heels of a recent bid by Charlie Crist, a former Florida Republican governor turned Democratic congressman, who threw his hat into the ring last week.
— Nikki Fried (@nikkifried) May 12, 2021
It’s no secret that Fried, the lone statewide Democrat, has been eyeing the governor’s mansion for some time. Often using her platform to lambast DeSantis’ leadership and ties with former President Donald Trump, insiders speculated that it was only a matter of time before Fried entered the fray.
While there’s no love lost between DeSantis and Fried, her campaign rhetoric has only ramped up in recent weeks as the seeds from Florida’s 2021 Legislative Session begin to take root. At a recent press conference, Fried shifted into campaign mode, calling DeSantis an “authoritarian dictator” for giving Fox News an exclusive event at a West Palm Beach press conference where the Governor signed a controversial elections integrity measure (SB 90).
— Nikki Fried (@nikkifried) May 6, 2021
The genesis of Fried becoming DeSantis’ most vocal critic, however, can be traced to the start of the pandemic, where the top-elected Democrat made her living, airing her grievances over DeSantis’ handling of the virus on Twitter. Fried’s daily diatribes made her a household name in the state — as well as on the national stage — with Fried using the 280 characters to increase her political stock and land her interviews on MSNBC and other cable news outlets.
Ron DeSantis needs to be a one-term governor and a zero-term POTUS.
— Nikki Fried (@nikkifried) May 4, 2021
Fried was first elected as the agriculture commissioner in 2018, narrowly defeating Republican Matt Caldwell. It was the only statewide election in Florida to be won by a Democrat since 2012.