Nikki Fried on 2022 gubernatorial run: ‘We’re not there yet’
Image via AP.

nikki fried
She says DeSantis needs to be a one-term Governor.

Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner blasted Gov. Ron DeSantis during a cable news appearance Tuesday morning. But despite offering assurances that he needed to be a “one-term Governor,” Commissioner Nikki Fried isn’t ready to launch her own 2022 campaign yet.

Fried appeared on CNN’s New Day Tuesday morning, and she told host John Berman that her team is “not there yet” when it comes to making the announcement, even as pressure to run is intensifying.

“Every single day it is becoming more clear that we have to get rid of Gov. DeSantis,” Fried said. “And as the only statewide elected Democrat, there are a lot of people coming up to me and telling me that I am one of our best shots. So we’re certainly looking into it, but again it’s becoming clearer every single day that we need to make sure that Gov. DeSantis is a one term Governor, and that we end this hatred in our state in 2022.”

When advised that sounded close to a yes, Fried said not quite.

“We’re not there yet,” she reiterated.

Fried’s appearance on a national cable news program speaks to her increased profile and the seeming narrative inevitability of her challenging DeSantis next year. In addition to setting up as a DeSantis alternative in friendly media hits, she is also advancing her own creative.

Fried’s political committee released a video Twitter this week that many are seeing as the message of a pre-candidate.

“So let me say this to all Floridians: You’re loved. We feel your hurt. Florida can and will do better. As the Biden administration puts science first and we turn the corner on this pandemic, I promise, I will continue to fight for you and hold the Governor accountable,” Fried said.

Beyond the still-hypothetical but seemingly-inevitable Fried/DeSantis race, the commissioner offered strong criticisms in the same segment of DeSantis’ decision to honor fallen radio host Rush Limbaugh by lowering flags to half-staff.

Fried’s office will resist that gubernatorial decision. She said DeSantis was “bending over backwards” to honor a purveyor of division, “conspiracy theories,” and “hate speech,” by using the flag as a “political prop.”

“When the Governor uses the flag as a prop,” Fried counseled, “it sends a message to the rest of the state about what he idolizes.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at AG@FloridaPolitics.com


8 comments

  • Mac Stipanovich

    February 23, 2021 at 8:48 am

    It is quite a leap from being on the launch pad for a 2022 gubernatorial campaign to “a seemingly-inevitable Fried/DeSantis race”. Eskamani, Murphy, Crist, and/or Demings might beg to differ.

    Reply

  • She's A Witch!

    February 23, 2021 at 9:21 am

    Burn her!!!

    Reply

    • Follow the Science

      February 23, 2021 at 2:07 pm

    • Maya Boyen

      February 28, 2021 at 2:53 pm

      Strong and intelligent women are usually feared by the weak and ignorant.

      Reply

  • Ocean Joe

    February 23, 2021 at 9:59 am

    Is John Morgan out of the question? He won a statewide race handily on the minimum wage. Maybe Florida is ready for an independent, or Morgan as a Democrat.

    Reply

  • Mik

    February 23, 2021 at 1:49 pm

    You defy the governor’s order to honor Rush Limbaugh with flags at half staff. Clearly you should be inclusive yourself. Create equitable dialog. Peacefully protest to show your anti-hate ideology and tolerance to others. In light of those failings, resign.

    Reply

  • Harold Finch

    February 24, 2021 at 11:04 am

    Really!! Fried is the most ineffective Cabinet member and certainly Ag Commissioner to ever be elected. I am an Independent (former Republican who has been involved in state politics and campaigns for over 30 years. Not a big DeSantis fan and think Gwen Graham would be the absolute best choice for Governor!
    Had she won the primary, she would be Governor today!!

    Reply

  • Yep

    February 24, 2021 at 11:28 am

    Why should Limbaugh get to have an honor usually reserved for fallen police officers or public servants? He was just a pill-popping radio host who never had a following as large as Howard Stern’s.

    Should flags be at half-mast when Stern dies?

    Reply

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