Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried may be leaving office in November after losing the Democratic Primary for Governor last month, but don’t expect to stop hearing from her.
On Wednesday, Fried announced the launch of Won’t Back Down, a new political committee focused getting a constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights on the ballot in 2024.
“Florida is in trouble. I’m the only Democrat to win statewide here since 2012, and it shows,” Fried said.
“The last four years, while I have been doing everything in my power to stop Ron DeSantis, (Donald) Trump-obsessed Republicans have done everything in their power to enable him, taking away freedom and opportunity from anyone who doesn’t look and act like them.
“And I want to be really specific. Women in Florida are losing our freedom. But mark my words, we will not be silenced. We will not be controlled. We will persist and win. I just finished campaigning in every corner of our state. If you saw me on the trail, you know I thanked all the women who came before me and promised the girls who looked up to me that I will never, ever back down from this fight. And I mean it.”
That, Fried continued, is why she, her donors and supporters founded Won’t Back Down. Details on the new political committee are sparse. So far, it has reported no fundraising. It lists a South Miami address on the Division of Elections and Treasurer Gloria Maggiolo, who also runs the political committee Fried has used since 2018, Florida Consumers First.
But the goal of the organization is simple, Fried said.
“It’s a political committee to transform Florida into the pro-choice state Floridians actually want, starting immediately but continuing into future election cycles. Because we don’t have a one-election-cycle problem. We have a future-of-Florida problem. So, we’re going to do what we did to win in 2018. We’re going to go to red areas and talk to Republicans and independent women, and we’re also going to do what it takes to win the future,” Fried explained.
“We’re going to support pro-choice female candidates. We’re going to be aggressively calling out radical, anti-women politicians, and we’re going to help get a constitutional amendment protecting freedom on the ballot in 2024.
“We’re going to fight for Florida like our freedom depends on it because it does. But we can’t do it without you. We need you in this fight with us. I need you. The women of Florida need to make a stand with us, because together we can deliver something new to the women and people of Florida.”
Fried’s announcement comes amid a wave of challenges to women’s reproductive rights. In April, Gov. DeSantis signed a law banning abortion in Florida after 15 weeks of pregnancy with no exceptions for rape or incest.
Two months later, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, kicking back down to states the power to decide whether to keep abortion legal, restrict it or ban the practice outright.
DeSantis was quick to confirm soon after that he and other members of the Florida GOP will “work to expand pro-life protections.”