‘They don’t care’: Nikki Fried criticizes Gov. DeSantis, Republicans over Session priorities
Image via AP.

Nikki Fried
'It’s a regime that raises your taxes, bullies your kids, and strips you of your constitutional rights.'

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried released a statement Friday, lambasting Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Republican-controlled Legislature as they concluded the 2021 Legislative Session.

Fried, Florida’s top-elected Democrat and a rumored gubernational contender, suggested Republicans shrugged off the pandemic’s impacts on Floridians and the economy.

She accused them of shooting down “reasonable” legislation intended to relieve communities and families.

“This Session has made it clear: the Governor and his legislative allies don’t care about you,” Fried said. “They don’t care about those who have lost their jobs, homes, loved ones, and futures. Big corporations and the wealthy will benefit from the largest budget in Florida’s history.”

Fried and DeSantis have remained at odds since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In her statement, she noted her Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services suffered an $11 million slash, a move she says risks the wellness of farmers, consumers, and police, among others.

Fried described the Governor and “supplicants” as an “authoritarian regime.”

“It’s a regime that raises your taxes, bullies your kids, and strips you of your constitutional rights,” Fried continued. “The overreaching policies and divisive politics of the past 60 days would have been improved by everyone staying home and having no Session at all.”

Indeed, the 2021 Legislative Session birthed several pieces of controversial legislation.

In the closing days of Session, Republicans muscled an amendment into a bill that bans transgender girls and women from competing in girls’ and women’s sports.

The move angered outnumbered Democrats. DeSantis nevertheless vowed to sign the measure.

Not least, the Republican Governor marshaled a bill that stiffens penalties against violent protesters, including so-called “mob intimidation.”

“While no reasonable person should be proud of these achievements, it gets worse. The Governor and his pawns have waged a culture war that no one asked for. They are attacking our fundamental freedoms, making it harder to participate in democracy, demand meaningful change, and protect our own communities, while humiliating transgender children in the interest of partisan politics,” Fried said.

DeSantis, meanwhile, praised the Legislative Session’s fruits.

“I think today the elected representatives of Florida have kept our momentum going,” DeSantis said. “You have been able to tackle issues that matter to our citizens and you’ve done it in a way that will have a lasting impact.”

The 60-day Session ended Friday.

Lawmakers filed more than 3,000 bills. Only 259 passed both Chambers.

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.

One comment

  • Ron Ogden

    April 30, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    Already there are Republicans looking to take her place when she embarks on her quixotic quest for the governorship next year. Remember once you resign you can’t go back! And the chances of you beating Ron DeSantis are nil, null and naught Nikki. (Feeling alliterative today.)

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704