- Nikki Fried has been elected as the next Chair of the Florida Democratic Party.
- Fried won 52 percent of the vote on the first ballot, beating out three other candidates.
- She is expected to focus on boosting voter turnout, improving fundraising, and implementing long-term planning strategies as the party looks to recover from historic losses in the midterm elections.
- Fried emphasized the need to bring Democrat voters to the ballot boxes to counteract the growing Republican dominance in the state’s government.
Former Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried was elected as the next Chair of the Florida Democratic Party on Saturday, receiving 52 percent of the vote on the first ballot, avoiding a runoff scenario.
In attaining her victory, Fried beat out former state senator Annette Taddeo, Broward County Democratic Chair Rick Hoye, and Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida President Dr. Carolina Ampudia.
Fried was a late entry into the Chair race, announcing her candidacy just over two weeks ahead of the election date, but quickly amassed meaningful and prominent endorsements from voter members across the state including the Chairs of several Democratic Executive Committees.
Fried, who capped off a gubernatorial campaign last fall when she lost to Charlie Crist in the primary, touched on many of the same talking points that drove her campaign for governor, including access to abortion services, economic opportunity within the state, and safeguarding democracy.
“As we reflect not just on the results of the 2022 midterms, but the last 30 years, Florida Democrats must start to act and think differently,” Fried told The Capitolist. “It is imperative to the future of our state, as democracy only works when there are checks and balances, that Florida Democrats get this next chapter right.”
Fried expanded upon her vision for the future of the Florida Democratic Party during a debate last weekend, stating that the party needs to focus on establishing the necessary resources, not fundraising, in order to grab the attention of voters.
“We can give each party a million dollars but if voters don’t want to register we can’t do anything,” she said.
Fried also brought attention to the fact that Republicans control the House, Senate, and Governor’s Office in the state’s capitol, effectively blocking any meaningful policy championed by Democrats from gaining traction. She stated that the only way to counteract the growing Republican dominance is to bring Democrat voters to the ballot boxes.
“Elect Democrats. It’s the only way we’re going to take back our state,” said Fried. “It’s the only way that we make sure we have people fighting all of the insane things happening in Tallahassee and create a free state for everyone.”
The Florida Democratic Party finds itself at a crucial crossroads in 2023, as it faces a long recovery from historic losses in the midterm elections. As Chairwoman, she will face numerous challenges including boosting voter turnout, improving fundraising efforts, and implementing long-term planning strategies.