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Nikki Fried officially in running for 2022 Florida governor’s race

FILE- In this Nov. 2, 2019, Nikki Fried, Democratic candidate for Florida Commissioner of...
FILE- In this Nov. 2, 2019, Nikki Fried, Democratic candidate for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, speaks during a campaign rally, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)(Lynne Sladky | AP)
Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 1:37 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV/CNS) - Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried is running for governor in 2022, looking to unseat Republican Ron DeSantis.

Fried’s name appeared on the Division of Elections website as a Democratic candidate for governor Tuesday afternoon. Shortly after, she tweeted out a video announcing her intentions to run.

“I’m Nikki Fried. And I’m here to break the rigged system here in Florida. It’s corrupt. It’s anti democratic, and it’s time for something new,” said Fried in the announcement video.

The video was Fried’s only appearance Tuesday.

Political scientist Susan MacManus told us the video will play well with a growing younger demographic in the Democratic Party.

“Social media, videos, technology, are essential to appealing to a part of the Democratic Party she must absolutely must have vote for her,” said MacManus.

Fried all but made the announcement on the day Charlie Crist became the first well-known Democrat in the race.

“As the only statewide elected Democrat, it makes absolute sense for me to be running for governor, but today is not the day for me to make that announcement,” said Fried in early May.

And Fried continues to be Republican Governor Ron DeSantis’s biggest critic.

“He must be a one-term Governor,” said Fried.

Fried won a squeaker in 2018 and would likely have faced a substantial challenger this time around.

MacManus said there is no glory in losing a re-election bid, but losing an effort at higher office is something else.

“And actually, it is worse to stay and place and lose than it is to gamble and lose at a higher level. You keep yourself alive politically if you keep trying to go for a higher office,” said MacManus.

So, for now, Fried faces an uphill primary battle in both fundraising and name recognition.

“I’m unafraid. I’m tested. I’m ready,” said Fried.

At least one other Democrat, State Senator Annette Taddeo, who ran for Lt. Governor with Charlie Crist in 2014 is considering entering the race.

Dr. MacManus said it is still not too late for others with money or name recognition to get into the race.

Fried is the top elected Democrat in the state, serving in the Florida Cabinet. Before being elected in 2018, Fried ran her own lobbying firm in South Florida. She has 15 years of practicing law under her belt.

During an interview with WCTV in March 2021, Fried talked about her desire to become governor. She was describing a conversation she had with her fiancé during their first date.

“And I said ‘I’m going to be the governor of the state of Florida.’ You know, I’ve always been someone who wants to serve and to give back. So I’m going to be talking to a lot of people and trusting my gut. We’ll figure out what’s next,” Fried said in the interview.

You can read more about Fried’s background at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website.

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