Nikki Fried to Gov. DeSantis: ‘Who is really the big government bureaucrat?’
Ron DeSantis and Nikki Fried.

DeSantis Fried
Fried accused DeSantis of "bullying" local governments.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried jousted Tuesday with Gov. Ron DeSantis over a new law that will allow the Florida Cabinet to overrule municipalities’ decisions to cut local law enforcement budgets.

Speaking at a Cabinet meeting before a procedural vote on the issue, Fried described the provision as the latest example of “Tallahassee bullying local governments into submission” under the Republican Governor’s leadership.

Moreover, Fried, a Democratic gubernatorial contender, called the Cabinet’s support of the provision “straight up hypocritical interference,” citing a 2018 quote by DeSantis advocating for small government: “I reject the idea that government bureaucrats in a faraway capital could plan our lives better than we could plan them ourselves.”

Using the quote as a political baton, Fried then posed a question to DeSantis and Republican Cabinet members.

“Now, the so-called party of small government is yet again telling government closest to the people what they can and cannot do with their money,” she said. “So, as you vote today, ask yourself, who is really the big government bureaucrat in the faraway Capitol?”

The jab drew a swift counterpunch from DeSantis.

While DeSantis said he was unsure of the context of his 2018 quote, he asserted that the new law will protect Floridians and law enforcement from “rogue” local governments.

“What the rule does is it says, very clearly, to the people of Florida, if your municipal government tries to defund law enforcement, we’ve got your back,” DeSantis fired back.

“We are going to protect you,” DeSantis continued. “We are not going to allow some rogue local government do insane things like defunding the police, like we have seen massive cuts in other parts of this country, where we’ve seen crime skyrocket out of control.”

Under DeSantis’ prized anti-riot bill, a state attorney or local elected official can petition the state’s Administration Commission when a local government moves to slash a law enforcement budget.

The Commission consists of the Governor, the Attorney General, the Chief Financial Officer and the Agriculture Commissioner.

The bill was among the more contentious pieces of legislation during the 2021 Legislative Session.

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.


  • Tom

    June 15, 2021 at 11:53 am

    Fraud Fried!

  • Ed

    June 15, 2021 at 12:51 pm

    Keep throwing darts drama queen Nikki. Nothing is sticking though. Keep throwing my desperate candidate.

  • Tom

    June 15, 2021 at 8:47 pm

    Incompetence at its highest example.
    Hapless, helpless, hopeless.
    Worst announcement, worst campaign, worst candidacy.

  • Tom

    June 16, 2021 at 7:48 am

    Fraud Fried.
    Incompetence at its highest example.
    Hapless, helpless, hopeless.
    Worst announcement, worst campaign, worst candidacy.

  • Ron Ogden

    June 16, 2021 at 8:32 am

    Nikki Fried is anti-police. Could anything be any clearer? Last year the Democrats cried to defund police. Then, when they awoke to the powerful reaction from all corners of society, they panicked and tried to walk it back. But it is still there intent. Nikki Fried proves it.

  • Arthro

    June 16, 2021 at 8:39 am

    She is such a clown. Has she ever accomplished anything besides being elected Agriculture Commissioner? Her campaign for Governor is already in the toilet. And she just seems so desperate to attack anything DeSantis says or does. At the same time, what significant accomplishments are coming out of the Agriculture Dept? Nothing?

  • The Chief

    June 20, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    Worthless Liberal Lier as usual. Anti 2nd amendment, anti-police, fraud investments, fraudulent home purchase. Need I say more? Worthless Democratic hack feeding off the ignorant poorly educated Democratic voter.

  • Tom

    June 25, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    She’s has to be considering withdrawing, her silence is deafening since the recent misner poll has her down by 30pt to America’s Governor. What a terrible candidate and campaign. June has been a awful month for her.

Comments are closed.


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