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Nikki Fried ad says it’s time for ‘something new’

A new ad from Democratic candidate for Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is pitching change in her new ad, urging Floridians to “try something new” at the polls next week.

Fried is competing in the race against Republican candidate Matt Caldwell.

“What if instead of tolerating green algae and red tide, our leaders prioritized keeping Florida’s water blue?” she says.

“What if we put our children’s safety first, and issued weapons permits responsibly, actually conducting background checks? And what if we get Tallahassee politicians out of the way, and provide suffering patients the medical marijuana they need now?

“It’s time for a change. I’m Nikki Fried. Let’s try something new, Florida.”

Intended or unintended, Fried’s ad contains a shot against outgoing Commissioner Adam Putnam, whose office was criticized for failing to conduct background checks on weapons permits for a year.

Fried and Caldwell also went back-and-forth over marijuana and water quality issues during a recent debate on CBS in Miami.

Fried, a former marijuana lobbyist, is pushing to move the state’s oversight of medical marijuana into the Agriculture Commissioner’s purview. Currently, that oversight is conducted by the Department of Health.

The Democrat also criticized Caldwell over a 2016 bill he supported, which Fried alleges contributed to the current algae crisis.

A recent poll from the Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida showed Fried leading Caldwell 43 percent to 41 percent. But that was within the poll’s margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Fried has gathered up some big-time endorsements, earning support from former Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and lawyer John Morgan.

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to

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