Nikki Fried seizes opportunity, swipes at Gov. DeSantis during Cabinet meeting
Nikki Fried wants more accountability from the Governor over CARES Act funds.

Fried said the Cabinet has been left in the dark.

Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried seized an opportunity Thursday to cut loose on Gov. Ron DeSantis during the state’s first Cabinet meeting in roughly four months.

Fried, the state’s top Democrat, has earned herself a share of the national spotlight in recent months by casting stones at DeSantis in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fried built on that momentum Thursday, rattling off a list of grievances and frustrations ranging from “being left in the dark” to unacknowledged requests for the meeting.

“There is no reason in the midst of a global pandemic that has seen over 2,300 Floridians perish, over 51,000 sickened and over 1 million Floridians unemployed that this cabinet should not have met since February to consider state business,” Fried said.

Fried, who was the only Cabinet member physically in the room during the meeting, doubled down on the Cabinet’s lack of involvement since the onset of the pandemic and described it as being “left in the dark.”

“Each of us was independently elected by the people of this great state,” Fried said. “Each of us received more than 4 million votes and were put here to do a job. And for the most critical nearly 4 months of this pandemic, this cabinet has been left in the dark.”

Fried also voiced frustrations that her agenda requests, which included several officials and a discussion on Florida’s recent wildfires, went unaddressed.

Fried said she formally requested the Surgeon General appear to discuss COVID-19 data, and the Department of Revenue to discuss the state’s financial standing.

None, however, were present.

“These agenda requests are made in good faith and were not acknowledged, let alone fulfilled,” Fried said. “It’s a real shame for everyone who deserves trust.”

After Fried’s offensive, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis rushed to the Governor’s defense.

“Thank God we have Governor DeSantis and not Governor Cuomo,” Patronis said.

The opposition between Fried and DeSantis has intensified in recent months over the Governor’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 23, Fried appeared on MSNBC and criticized DeSantis over the state’s data and the firing of the state worker tasked to oversee the COVID-19 dashboard, Rebekah Jones.

“This is a pattern of deception we’ve seen from the Governor over and over again,” Fried said on the cable news channel.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


  • Paul

    May 28, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    Good old A$$ kissing Jimmy Patronis would be crapping in his pants if his agenda request were ignored. This partisan crap has got to end. Vote Blue all the time!

    • Thatword....

      May 28, 2020 at 12:46 pm

      “This partisan crap has got to end. Vote Blue all the time!”

      Not a shred of self-awareness.

  • Steven Gabriel

    May 28, 2020 at 7:42 pm

    I Pray Fried gets in Office. IMPEACH DESANTIS!!! He doesn’t have a Clue as to what’s happening in POLITICS. Firing Jones was a huge MISTAKE. I just want to know, “Where the FCk is my Unemployment Check??

  • Paul M Grimm

    May 29, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    He Seems To Always Put The Blame On Others, Especially With DEO.
    First He Blames Rick Scott For The Website, Now He Has The Balls To Blame We The People On The Website,In That We Haven’t Filled The Forms Out Right & That’s Why 10’s Of Thousands Of Us Have Not Got Our Money. I For One Have Been Waiting Since March 29 2020. Even Though I’m Back To Work I Cannot Even Pay My Rent, Have Borrowed So Much It’s Not Funny. Please Help US!

  • Glenn Reihing

    May 29, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    So let me get this straight….

    The Florida Cabinet, in a mist of a pandemic, has not met since February. despite the problems at DEO?? Despite the problems with skilled nursing centers???

    Now everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE, including my Federal legislator Charlie Crist, the Pinellas County Commissioners, and my State Rep. Jennifer Webb have been able to conduct business.

    And yet these guys have not done anything?? They have heard of Skype or Zoom, right???

    In light of that, I believe it is fair to ask that their salaries be pro-rated and docked of pay for three months for not showing up to work either in person or virtually.

    • Karen Ann Glowacki

      May 29, 2020 at 3:42 pm

      Sound good to me! I and my husband have been furloughed from the hotel industry since 3/20 with no assistance from the government that we paid into for over 70 years together. And my husband is a veteran! Thanks for HIS service right Desantis! I’m sure your getting paid with our unemployment. I think the President should have stood his ground when he wanted the federal government to be in charge of the unemployment benefits, but the governor’s wanted control so they can collect on the interests!!!! Discusting!!! I now have my house on the market to try to stop the bleeding!

Comments are closed.


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