Nikki Fried’s Primary campaign for Governor has a long way to go — her campaign Friday announced a statewide bus tour that starts Tuesday and will be burning rubber until the polls close.
Some polls are showing that she’s got quite a distance to go to defeat Charlie Crist on Aug 23, Primary Election Day. The two Democrats are competing for the right to face Gov. Ron DeSantis in the November election.
Fried plans to travel all 268 miles from Panama City to Jacksonville and then the 351 miles to Miami, and then back again in the last eight days of the campaign.
Fried in 2020 became the first Democrat since President Barack Obama in 2012 to win a statewide election, becoming Agriculture Commissioner. But she’s up against Crist’s greater name recognition from his former turn as a Republican Governor and numerous other offices over 34 years in state politics. Throughout the race, Fried has been the underdog.
St. Pete Polls last Friday showed Crist has a dominating lead over her in the Primary. A poll Fried’s campaign commissioned was released this week and her campaign highlighted the finding that 23% of Democrats were “not sure” who they would support.
She’s been trying to sink Crist’s numbers by tying him to past actions as a Republican and raising doubts about his Democratic Party bona fides.
“Nikki Fried is the only Democratic candidate who has always been pro-choice, has never taken a dime from the National Rifle Association,” a Friday release from her campaign says.
Starting in Panama City, Fried will be “taking her message of lower costs and higher standards for all Floridians from the Panhandle to Miami,” her campaign’s release says.
From the Panhandle, the bus is heading east to Jacksonville and from there, day by day, making its way west and south, before a Primary Day extravaganza involving Broward, Miami-Dade and Leon counties, according to her schedule.
The bus tour schedule shows, she’ll be in Panama City and Tallahassee on Tuesday; Jacksonville on Wednesday; Gainesville and Orange County on Thursday; The Villages and Tampa on Aug. 19; the Gulf Coast area, stretching from Tampa to Fort Myers, and then to Palm Beach County on Aug. 20; and Broward and Palm Beach counties on Aug. 21. On Aug. 22, it’s on to Miami-Dade and a location to be determined.
The Primary Election Day schedule shows the bus making the length of the state, not counting Monroe County, hitting Miami-Dade, Broward and Leon counties on Aug. 23.
Updates with times and specific locations will be forthcoming, the campaign said.