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Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried takes the oath of office at inauguration ceremonies Tuesday in Tallahassee. (Photo: Colin Hackley.)

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Nikki Fried rallies faithful, promises policy movement

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried made her first post swearing-in remarks to Florida Democrats Tuesday afternoon.

Fried’s prepared remarks noted that she expected to be serving aside “Gov. Andrew Gillum.”

That didn’t come to pass, obviously.

Fried, the titular head of Florida Democrats as their sole statewide elected official, bookended her remarks with the kind of encouragement one might expect.

Early in the speech, Fried urged her party to “work – together and tirelessly – towards achieving the change in Florida that we were so narrowly denied in November, and to grow a stronger future for our state.”

Her remarks closed with the kind of rousing oratory that some may see as a dress rehearsal for a bigger stage in 2022.

“As President Barack Obama says, we are the change we’ve been waiting for. Today marks a new day for our party. Today we begin the hard work of building a new tomorrow. Together, we will grow a stronger future for the Democratic Party, and the great state of Florida,” Fried said.

Beyond the political realm, Fried addressed policy, including concerns germane to Democrats.

“We’re going to ensure that when someone applies for a concealed weapons permit, a full and thorough background check is completed,” Fried asserted, a clapback to her predecessor’s failings in this area.

Fried also addressed cannabis, vowing to “push to expand patient access to medical marijuana for the sick and suffering patients” and to “ensure Florida is ready to become a national leader on hemp—an alternative crop that can help our environment and strengthen our economy.”

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Fried also vowed to work with farmers on the effects of “climate change,” verification that the executive branch may be compelled to move deeper in exploring the issue than was the case in the previous eight years.

Combatting “fraud” in the consumer services part of the job, and ensuring Amendment 4 is executed per voter intent, were also focuses of the prepared remarks.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades, with bylines in national and local publications alike on subjects ranging from pop music to national and global politics. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014, and has held a column in Jacksonville, Florida's Folio Weekly for two decades. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." Gancarski is a frequent presence on Jacksonville television and radio, including fill-in slots on WJCT-FM's award-winning talk show "First Coast Connect." He can be reached at a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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