Democratic Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried may not have said anything publicly yet about running for Governor, but she’s liking a poll suggesting she should.
Fried’s political committee Florida Consumers First is fundraising on a poll released Thursday by St. Pete Polls that found her and Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis essentially deadlocked in a hypothetical 2022 election matchup.
“Although I haven’t made a decision about running yet, this is promising news,” Fried declares in an email blast that went out Friday from her political committee.
The poll, commissioned by Florida Politics, found the incumbent Republican Governor and the potential Democratic challenger both taking about 45% of the vote if the 2022 election were held now.
There are other Democrats posturing for a gubernatorial run. Sen. Randolph Bracy of Ocoee appears to be setting up infrastructure. Speculation also swirls about U.S. Rep. and former Gov. Charlie Christ, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, U.S. Rep. Val Demings, and her husband, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings. None has declared or made any overt moves yet.
Fried is the only statewide elected Democrat in Florida, something she points out in her committee’s email solicitation.
“As the only Democrat to win statewide in Florida since 2012, I know how to bring people together against harmful policies and corrupt leadership,” she states.
Fried tries to make the poll results appear to be about her criticism of the Governor, not necessarily about her possible ambitions to challenge him next year. She brings up some of those criticisms, reminding readers of Republican efforts to “cap THC levels in medical marijuana, limit voting rights, and criminalize protesters.”
“It shows that our efforts to hold the Governor accountable for his corruption, his failures on COVID, and his blind loyalty to Donald Trump have been effective,” she states in the fundraising email. “Most of all, it shows how important your support has been — because of you, we’ve been able to speak out and stand up for what’s right.”
The email links to Florida Consumers First’s campaign fundraising page. That group, not explicitly tied to any particular campaign but organized to support Fried, raised $122,000 last month and is sitting on about $1.1 million.