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Nikki Fried, inset Kathy Lewis

2020

Nikki Fried releases ad promoting down-ballot Democrat candidates

Kathy Lewis, Corrina Balderramos Robinson and Nicole Hamm are among those spotlighted.

Agriculture Nikki Fried has done plenty to boost Joe Biden’s chances of winning Florida this year. Now she’s lending her name to lesser known candidates with hopes of surprising the political world Tuesday.

Fried’s  Florida Consumers First political committee released an ad on Tuesday evening promoting Senate, House and local candidates. The list includes Democrats like Kathy Lewis, engaged in a surprisingly tight Senate District 20 contest, and Corrina Balderramos Robinson, trying to upset Sen. Gayle Harrell in Senate District 25.

The “Imagine a Florida” video hopes to lay the groundwork for a number of wins in low-profile races and carve a path to Democrats leading this purple state for the first time in decades.

“We have an incredibly talented, diverse and experienced group of Democrats running up and down the ballot in Florida, and I want to ensure we see victories at every level,” Fried said.

“During this pandemic, we continue to see first-hand how important our local and state leaders are, and the difference between what Democrats have done to protect Floridians compared to Republicans couldn’t be more clear. We need Democrats at every level to transform our state to what it can be, and I’m proud to highlight these candidates in their districts ahead of Nov. 3.”

The ad features testimonials from House candidates Ricky Junquera, House District 118, Joshua Hicks, HD 11, and Daisy Morales, HD 48. It also includes clips from Jacksonville City Council candidate Nicole Hamm and Palm Bay Mayor prospect Kay Maragh.

Candidates in the ad lay out platform positions all using similar framing.

“Imagine a Florida where health care is more accessible,” Lewis says.

“Imagine a Florida where our children feel safe at school,” Morales says.

“Imagine a Florida where our environment is protected,” Hicks says.

More than a minute into the ad, Fried herself appears to make an appeal to voters.

“Our local and state elections are just as important to the future of our state as the Presidency is,” she says.

Fried made a $100,000 investment in down ballot races this year in hopes of creating a friendlier Legislature and network of officials to work with in the coming years. Of course, the investment also helps to build a coalition in the likely event Fried runs for Governor in two years.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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