Lawyer and medical marijuana activist Nikki Fried landed another pair of endorsements for her bid to take over as Agriculture Commissioner in the fall, this time from Democratic U.S. Reps. Charlie Crist and Lois Frankel.
“I’m thrilled about the prospect of Nikki Fried as Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture — she’s smart, prepared, and a tireless advocate for the people. We need Nikki elected to the Florida Cabinet to be a champion for rights, fairness, and progress,” said Crist, who recently sponsored a bipartisan bill to grant veterans and other federal workers access to medical marijuana without risking their jobs.
Frankel added: “It is exciting to see such a talented woman running for office in Florida. Nikki is someone we must elect to be the next Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services — a member of Florida’s Cabinet.”
Fried, 40, was a late entry into the statewide race, though her campaign has quickly picked up steam. To date, she has surpassed the combined fundraising total of her two Democratic primary opponents, Homestead Mayor Jeff Porter and South Florida Audubon Society President Roy David Walker.
In addition to Crist and Frankel, Fried has also landed endorsements from numerous Democratic politicians, most recently from former Congressman Patrick Murphy, with others coming in from former CFO Alex Sink, 25 state lawmakers, 33 county and municipal leaders, labor union SEIU, Ruth’s List, the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, and others.
“It is incredible to have Congresswoman Frankel and Congressman Crist’s support. They have both been stalwarts for our environment, our water and for medical marijuana,” Fried said. “Like both of these leaders, I look forward to taking our fight to Tallahassee and putting an end to the disarray that the Republicans have put our state through for the last two decades.”
Fried, Porter, and Walker will duke it out in the Aug. 28 primary election, the winner of which will move on to face one of four Republicans vying for the position currently filled by term-limited Republican Adam Putnam, who is running for Governor.
Of the four Republicans, Lehigh Acres state Rep. Matt Caldwell and Sebring state Sen. Denise Grimsley, who recently rolled out her first TV ad, have had the most success on the campaign trail and in fundraising.
Grimsley has raised $2.65 million since declaring for the race in February 2017 and currently holds the cash lead with more than $1.1 million in the bank between her campaign and political committees, Saving Florida’s Heartland and Let’s Grow Florida.
Caldwell has raised $2 million since entering the race in April 2017 and has $1.07 million on hand between his campaign and political committee, Friends of Matt Caldwell.
Fried, for her part, had raised about $256,000 between her campaign and Florida Consumers First political committee with $122,500 in the bank as of Aug. 3. She is likely to show a boost, however, thanks to a recent Orlando fundraiser hosted by Sink and Ruth’s List, as well as attorney and medical marijuana advocate John Morgan and Richard Swann, whose involvement in Democratic Party fundraising goes back decades.