Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has made three major campaign hires as she competes for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
Cramer Verde will serve as political director for Fried’s campaign. Fried is also hiring Drew Godinich as her communications director and Nwabufo “Obi” Umunna as a campaign adviser.
“I’m incredibly proud of the diverse, talented team we are building here to take Florida back and bring fresh, new ideas to the capital,” Fried said in a statement announcing the hires.
“Florida deserves leadership that is accountable to the people — not to the corrupt, entrenched special interests that have dominated Tallahassee for decades. Our team will deliver that change.”
Fried is competing for the chance to take on Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis as she wraps her first term as the state’s Agriculture Commissioner. The Democratic Primary field also includes U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, a former Governor. Democratic state Sen. Annette Taddeo is also expected to formally enter the race Monday morning.
Verde is a previous political director for LULAC Florida and was a regional political director for the Biden-Kamala Harris presidential ticket in 2020.
Godinich joins Fried’s team after a stint as the deputy communications director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He also worked as a senior communications adviser during Shontel Brown’s run for U.S. House in Ohio.
During the 2020 presidential election, Godinich served as the western states communications director for Mike Bloomberg’s team.
Umunna is a graduate of the University of Florida Levin College of Law. During the 2020 cycle, Umunna worked as the North Florida political director for Joe Biden. He was also a consultant during Andrew Gillum’s 2018 gubernatorial bid, which saw Gillum come up just short against DeSantis.
David Freeman, Ivan Graham, Jonathan Karns, Amaro Lionheart, Alexander Lundmark, Timothy Mosley and Robert Willis are also running as Democrats in the gubernatorial contest.