Democrat Nikki Fried has made three significant communications hires for her 2022 gubernatorial campaign.
Keith Edward takes over as communications director. Benjamin Kirby comes on as communications and policy advisor. Caroline Korba will now be Fried’s press secretary.
“Communicating our vision openly and directly to the people of Florida is fundamental to this campaign,” Fried said. “We’re facing a lot of challenges in Florida today thanks to more than two decades of Republican rule. To win this race, our campaign will need to communicate clearly and transparently. This talented team, with deep experience in politics, government, and campaigns, is going to do just that. I welcome them to the fight for our state.”
It’s part of a campaign reset Fried began touting last week. She recently named Matthew Van Name as senior advisor and strategic manager. Van Name had been Fried’s chief of staff in her first term as Agriculture Commissioner. Campaign Manager Farah Melendez parted with Fried mid-month as part of a campaign reorganization.
Fried, the only Democrat holding statewide office, announced last June she would challenge Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. In the Primary, she also faces Democratic U.S. Rep. and former Republican Governor Charlie Crist, as well as Democratic state Sen. Annette Taddeo.
Van Name touted the new leaders in the communications team as Fried seeks to set herself apart in an August Democratic Primary.
“We welcome Keith, Ben, and Caroline to the Nikki Fried for Governor Campaign,” Van Name said. “These experienced, talented individuals demonstrate our commitment to the people of Florida, and our determination to deliver results for Floridians on Day 1. We’re on our way to a victory in August and preparing for the General in November.”
Edwards served as digital advisor to Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff’s successful U.S. Senate campaign last year. He previously worked as communications director for the Lincoln Project, an anti-Donald Trump GOP group. He’s also worked in New York politics and previously lived for 10 years in Miami, where he worked in television of The Real Housewives franchise.
Kirby, a 30-year political veteran, worked from 2014 to 2022 as communications director for St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. He also worked in former President Bill Clinton’s administration from 1993 to 2001. He’s worked for community organizations as well, including a stint as communications manager for the Pinellas-based Juvenile Welfare Board.
Korba previously served as senior development director for the International Women’s Media Foundation, a press organization based in Washington. In Florida, she worked for the Miami Music Project and for Swarm, a South Florida event agency. She holds a master’s degree in international administration from the University of Miami.