Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried — a likely contender for the 2022 Democratic gubernatorial nomination — has added Stefanie Sass as finance director for her political committee, Florida Consumers First.
Sass has worked nearly a decade on the campaign finance side for Democratic candidates, spanning two presidential cycles. She got her start in 2013 on Joe Garcia‘s congressional campaign leading up to the 2014 election. She began as deputy finance director before taking over the finance director position for the final eight months of the campaign.
During the 2016 presidential cycle, Sass worked as Florida’s deputy finance director for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. In 2017, she came on as a deputy finance director for Sen. Bill Nelson’s unsuccessful reelection bid. By August 2018, she was working as lead finance director.
Sass bounced around during the 2020 presidential cycle, as did many top campaign staff members in the jam-packed Democratic presidential primary. Sass started on then-U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris’ team, serving as the southern finance director for all of 2019. Harris backed out of the race before eventually becoming the vice presidential nominee.
But after Harris pulled her presidential bid, Sass went over to the short-lived Mike Bloomberg bid as the campaign’s southern director. When Bloomberg withdrew his bid, Sass landed as the Southeast deputy finance director for now-President Joe Biden, helping him to a record-breaking fundraising cycle.
Sass then transitioned to the Southeast deputy finance director role for the presidential inaugural committee. She also recently worked as a senior financial adviser for the Florida Democratic Party.
Fried’s PC has already begun buying ads targeting Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who will be seeking a second term in 2022. The race is likely to be heavily contested, though Republicans will likely feel they have an edge after their statewide successes the past few cycles.
The path to the General Election is contested as well, however. Former Gov. Charlie Crist is set to make a “major announcement” Tuesday, thought by many to be his official entry in the gubernatorial contest as a Democrat. With more than a year remaining until Election Day, plenty of other candidates could still emerge to crowd the field with Fried.