Nikki Fried claims Ron DeSantis wants anti-vaxxer vote
Image via Colin Hackley.

The Commissioner continues to critique the Governor.

A Democratic candidate for Governor slammed incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis, saying his opposition to vaccine passports was made with one eye on 2024.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, during a “Nik at Nite” broadcast from her campaign that aired Friday afternoon on Facebook Live, made the claim as part of a larger critique of DeSantis’ pandemic performance.

“Unfortunately, the Governor was going toward a very small sector of these anti-vaxxers. Thinking that’s where he wants to be for his base to support him,” Fried said, adding that the move was “not just about here in Florida.”

Fried, who earlier this month suggested the cruise industry “should look at leaving” Florida over DeSantis’ opposition to required presentation of proof of vaccination, framed his position as one of catering to so-called “anti-vaxxers” with an eye toward a potential 2024 presidential campaign.

“Remember, he’s running for President of the United States, in 2024,” Fried said. “He’s using the citizens of our state and the power he has inside our state to stamp on our backs to get to the presidency in 2024.”

Fried has contended for some months now that DeSantis wants to be President, suggesting he would abandon his second-term to run for higher office.

She also again expressed frustration about DeSantis not consulting the Cabinet more.

“Gov. DeSantis went at this through the entire pandemic wanting to believe that he was right. He didn’t talk to anybody. There was no conversations with the Cabinet,” Fried contended. “Because he went at this alone, it was so imperative for him to be right. You know, you see these national (stories) on Fox, see Florida is open and we were right and I was right. He doesn’t say we. He says a lot of I’s.”

The latest lament continues a tradition of bickering between the Governor and the Commissioner.

After Fried launched her campaign, DeSantis called her a “lockdown lobbyist” whose main accomplishments in office were to “emote on social media (and) virtue signal to small dollar donors in California and New York.”

Fried dismissed that as a “Tucker tantrum,” a reference to Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who regularly books DeSantis on his show.

Even as the rhetorical volleys continue between DeSantis and Fried, the resource inequity between the two grows ever more stark.

DeSantis’ Friends of Ron DeSantis political committee has more than $39 million on hand, with more than $7.5 million raised in May. Fried’s Florida Consumers First raised just under $215,000, and the committee has roughly $1.6 million on hand.

DeSantis, of course, won’t face a meaningful Primary. Fried has to contend with U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and potentially other Democratic candidates in the Primary next August.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Arthro

    June 11, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    Do-nothing Nikki strikes again. Please explain the $350,000 error in your financial statement.

  • Zhombre

    June 12, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    This kind of smear appeals to her voters who wish to feed their hatred for DeSatan, as they call him in their ignorance.

  • Tom

    June 12, 2021 at 5:36 pm

    News flash Nikki.
    Your fraudulent ways are not capturing you to middle class Florida. Independents find great measure in our present Governor. They value you his commonsense approach to life with the pandemic. It’s called freedom, free enterprise and free to make choices. You are an example of the Cuomo, Newsom and Whitmer As Governor. Furthermore, your playbook is pathetic. You have literally had the worst start to a so called election announcement in the history or the world. How many times can you step on self. Your personal life is a mess, your financial issues are severe and will be examined and you hand created a disaster in south Florida with food supply. Really? People are laughing.
    Oh, but I want to be Governor.

  • Tom Palmer

    June 13, 2021 at 3:16 pm

    By 2022 election, vaccine policy will probably be a vague memory. Get some new material.

  • Tom

    June 13, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    Your a joke Palmer.
    America’s Governor is Florida’s example!

    • Tom Palmer

      June 13, 2021 at 9:12 pm

      You missed the point.

  • Tom

    June 13, 2021 at 10:44 pm

    Here is some new material Palmer.
    Lowest unemployment in USA
    Most expanded and offered charter school access compared to any State.
    Most improved environmental efforts and expansion in country.
    Raised teachers educators salaries to top 5 in country.
    Here’s just a few Palmer.
    Lot’s more coming.

    • Tom Palmer

      June 13, 2021 at 11:15 pm

      The story is about Fried’s jumping on the vaccine controversy as a campaign issue. My point was that’s not a winning issue for her because by 2022–providing she’s even still in the race– there will likely be more important issues on voters’ minds.
      By the way, Florida environmental policy has a lot of gaps after all of the weakening that has occurred over the past administration’s in Tallahassee. Water management district staff’s were gutted, DEP is much less effective than it once was. The list goes on. The so-called Clean Waterways Act that DeSantis signed has all kinds of loopholes for polluters.

Comments are closed.


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