Staff moves continue in Nikki Fried world, as chief of staff moves to campaign side
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 9/1/2021-Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried speaks prior to a moment of silence to honor COVID-19 victims, Wednesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

'It’s about to get real.'

As the campaign for Governor heats up, Democratic candidate Nikki Fried continues to shake up her staff.

The latest move was rolled out Tuesday, when Fried’s campaign announced Matthew Van Name would become a “senior adviser” with the campaign. Van Name’s move to the campaign side comes as campaign manager Farah Melendez exits ahead of a planned “restructuring,” as Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida reported Friday.

Van Name has served as chief of staff in the Agriculture Commissioner’s office for all of Fried’s term. With this reassignment, meanwhile, Fried said the campaign is “about to get real.”

“Matthew has been fighting by my side since day one and I couldn’t be any more pumped that he’s coming to the campaign side to get us organized, ready, and fired up to win this Primary and beat Ron DeSantis,” said Commissioner Fried. “Democrats haven’t won the Governor’s office since 1994, and to do so, we’re going to have to be all-in and try something new. That’s exactly what we’re doing. It’s about to get real.”

There are those who would suggest that the campaign got real long ago, with Fried struggling in terms of both polls and fundraising against former Gov. Charlie Crist.

A Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy survey released Tuesday shows Crist holding a substantial lead among Democratic Primary voters, in results that accord with two other fresh polls of the race.

About 44% of Democratic respondents would vote for Crist to be the nominee if the Primary were today. By comparison, 27% favor Fried. Only 3% would pick state Sen. Annette Taddeo.

Fundraising has also fizzled. Fried raised just over $300,000 between her campaign account and her political committee last month, continuing a three-month cold streak for her fundraising operation, and leaving her with roughly $3.6 million cash on hand. To put that in perspective, incumbent Gov. DeSantis raised roughly $10 million last month.

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


  • Ron Ogden

    February 15, 2022 at 10:54 am

    “About to get real”. When you hear a pol say that, it means her campaign is about to get UNreal, characterized by spitting lies, emotional appeals to dramatic media coverage, and conspiracies of the kind her mentors, Obama/Hilary/Biden, resorted to–as is now being made clear. This is one Democrat who is about to go full nuke in an effort to save her failing campaign, and to hell with the public good. It is instructive to note that she is turning the whole smash over to a senior bureaucrat.

    • Concern Citizen

      February 15, 2022 at 1:53 pm

      “Spitting lies” and “conspiracies” is a very accurate description of Trump. Trump was better at this then the folks you mentioned.
      Perhaps, if she goes “full nuke” she will bring DeSantis down with her. No one wins in a nuclear war.

      • Ron Ogden

        February 16, 2022 at 6:14 am

        Look at something other than the MSM–which is ignoring it–and see the investigation in process that will result in congressional hearings next year into Hilary Clinton’s Russian conspiracy and will likely result in her indictment–we can only hope. Trump was right all along. The Dems (Clinton et al), the DoJ bureaucracy and the MSM conspired to destroy his presidency. IMHO, it is not unreasonable to bring TREASON charges against Clinton.

  • Impeach Biden

    February 15, 2022 at 10:55 am

    The SS Fried / Fraud is taking on water and eventually will sink. Bye bye Nikki. Your reign of terror is coming to an end.

  • F. Williams

    February 15, 2022 at 10:55 am

    Commissioner Fried unlawfully maintains a Florida concealed carry license despite being a publicly admitted user of medical marijuana. The law (FSS790.06(10)(a) and 790.06(2)( n )) stipulates that her license should be suspended or revoked due to her Ineligibility to purchase a firearm. Pursuant to federal law (18 USC 922 (g)(3)), Commissioner Fried is a “prohibited person” and may not lawfully obtain or possess firearms or ammunition.
    Commission Fried’s inaction concerning her own license is a deliberate failure to faithfully execute her office. One which she derives direct personal and political benefit from.

Comments are closed.


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