Personnel note: Nikki Fried taps Farah Melendez for campaign manager
Melendez joined Fried's team in September.

Farah Melendez ART
Melendez was national political director for the Democratic Attorneys General Association.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has brought on Farah Melendez to run her gubernatorial campaign.

Melendez comes to Fried’s campaign from Virginia, where she had been managing Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s re-election campaign and jointly serving as the national political director for the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA).

In an announcement, Florida’s only statewide elected Democrat hyped her new campaign manager as “one of the most sought after, talented managers in the country.”

“We’re going to shock the nation in 2022,” said Fried, who is one of two major Democrats running to unseat Gov. Ron DeSantis. “I couldn’t be more excited for a powerful, tested, and dynamic woman to lead this campaign. We are promising something new, and that starts at the top.”

In 2019, Melendez built a coalition of reproductive, labor, and pro-democracy groups that created the first-ever national pro-choice standard for Attorney General candidates. In 2017, she launched DAGA’s Women’s Initiative, recruiting women from around the country to run for Attorney General.

Her efforts contributed to a successful string of state Attorneys General elections, helping DAGA build its largest majority since 2010 with flips in Nevada, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Colorado.

Melendez says she sees another flip-ortunity in Florida.

“Nikki is exactly who Floridians need at the top of the ticket to beat Ron DeSantis,” she said in a news release. “She brings something entirely new to the process and we’re going to build our program around that. It will be unlike any campaign in Florida history — more organized, more talented, more diverse, more multilingual, and importantly, more inclusive of Florida voters. In 2018, Nikki was the only Democrat that won statewide on issues that Floridians care about and she will do it again in 2022.”

A campaign release also touted Melendez’ bilingual skills and her diverse “background in organizing, grassroots and community engagement” at the federal, state, and local levels.

Melendez is the daughter of immigrants and a first-generation college graduate — she received her bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Political Science from the University of Utah. She is also a contributor to The Brown Girl’s Guide to Politics and was recently awarded “40 Under 40” by the American Association of Political Consultants.

Fried is running for Governor as a Democrat. She faces U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist in the Primary Election for the right to face DeSantis, who is presumed to be running for re-election, although he hasn’t formally announced it.

Recent polls have shown Fried would be competitive with the incumbent if they end up going head-to-head next year, however DeSantis has been building a substantial war chest that either Democratic candidate will have trouble matching.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


3 comments

  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    September 1, 2021 at 8:03 am

    The far left choice in purple FL. Let the buyers beware

  • Impeach Biden

    September 1, 2021 at 9:01 am

    Fried is better suited for California, Oregon, or Washington State. That’s where many of her fellow lunatics reside. Florida is a Red State.

  • Justin

    September 1, 2021 at 10:33 am

    “Florida’s only statewide elected Democrat hyped her new campaign manager as “one of the most sought after, talented managers in the country.”

    Interesting, I’ve never heard of her and according to her LinkedIn she has never served as a campaign manager before this year. Charlie it is then.

Comments are closed.


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