The Republican Governors Association (RGA) accused Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried on Thursday of using office staff and resources to campaign against Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The allegation comes after Fried, a rumored gubernational contender, lambasted DeSantis at a press conference outside her Capitol office early Thursday.
There, she criticized DeSantis’ acclaimed election reform bill and referred to the Republican Governor as an “authoritarian dictator.”
“Nikki Fried hasn’t even officially announced her campaign for Governor, and she’s already facing accusations of failing to do her day job,” said RGA spokesperson Joanna Rodriguez. “But Fried’s desperation doesn’t excuse her blatant and inappropriate use of her official taxpayer-funded resources for soft launch campaign events focused entirely on spreading partisan misinformation and lies.”
The RGA notes that Fried announced the press conference on her campaign Twitter account. Moreover, they highlight the event was held outside her official office and was facilitated by “tax-payer funded staff.”
Fried also distributed video of the event on her campaign Twitter account, the RGA adds.
Fried’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.
While Fried has repeatedly shrugged questions about her entry as a gubernatorial contender, prognosticators expect she will indeed run against DeSantis.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist announced Tuesday his campaign for Governor.
Crist, a former Florida Governor, is the first major Democratic candidate in the race. The bid will mark his third run for the office.
He served in the office from 2007 to 2011 as a Republican, and ran an unsuccessful Democratic campaign in 2014, in which he lost against now-U.S. Sen. Rick Scott.
Notably, U.S. Rep. Val Demings is also contemplating a possible gubernatorial or U.S. Senate run in 2022.
Demings is coming off a two-year run in which her national standing has skyrocketed.
As a former Orlando Police Chief, she has drawn attention as an insider’s advocate of law enforcement reform.
Last summer she was widely discussed as a potential running mate to now-President Joe Biden.