Patrick Murphy endorses Nikki Fried for Agriculture Commissioner - Florida Politics

Patrick Murphy endorses Nikki Fried for Agriculture Commissioner

Attorney and medical marijuana lobbyist Nikki Fried picked up another endorsement for bid in the Democratic primary for Agriculture Commissioner on Thursday, this time from former Congressman Patrick Murphy.

“I’m supporting Nikki because I know that she is dedicated to promoting the Democratic values we share like protecting Florida’s environment and natural resources, standing up for consumers, and ensuring our state’s agriculture industry has a dependable partner in the Cabinet,” Murphy said.

Murphy represented Florida’s 18th Congressional District from 2013 to 2017. He’s been on the sidelines since 2016, when he unsuccessfully challenged Republican U.S. Sen Marco Rubio’s re-election bid.

He joins former state CFO Alex Sink and 21 Democratic members of the Florida Legislature, among others, in backing Fried’s primary bid.

“I am honored to have Congressman Murphy’s support in this race. During his time in Congress, he was a fierce advocate for our coastal communities — especially when it came to the toxic blue-green algae blooms ravaging our state,” Fried said.

“As Florida’s next Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, I pledge to work tirelessly until this issue is resolved once and for all.”

Fried faces fellow Democrats Jeffrey Porter and Roy David Walker in the Aug. 28 primary.

Since entering the statewide race to replace term-limited Commissioner Adam Putnam in mid-June, Fried has raised more than $228,000 in funds between her campaign account and affiliated political committee, Florida Consumers First. That puts her even with the combined efforts of Porter and Walker.

Also running for the seat are four Republicans: North Fort Myers state Rep. Matt Caldwell, Sebring state Sen. Denise Grimsley, retired U.S. Army Col. Mike McCalister and former Winter Haven state Rep. Baxter Troutman.

Caldwell and Grimsley, who recently rolled out her first TV ad, have been the standouts on the Republican side. Each have piled on more than $2 million in outside cash and have seven figures remaining in their war chests.

Troutman, meanwhile, has spent more than $3 million of his own fortune trying to secure the GOP nom.

Fried has an Orlando fundraiser set for tonight, hosted by Sink and Ruth’s List, as well as Orlando attorney and medical marijuana advocate John Morgan, and Richard Swann, whose involvement in Democratic Party fundraising goes back decades.

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for SaintPetersBlog and FloridaPolitics.com. While at the University of Florida, Wilson was an editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and after graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to cover business deals for The Hollywood Reporter. Before joining Extensive Enterprises, Wilson covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools.
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