After crushing red wave, Nikki Fried briefly floats — then backs off —takeover of Florida Democratic Party
Nikki Fried: Just legalize it already.

‘Obviously we have some issues with the structure of the Democratic Party.’

Florida Democrats lost ground at all government levels following Tuesday’s Midterm Election. And for the party to have any hope of clawing back power next time, there needs to be a change in leadership, according to outgoing Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.

In an interview with CBS Miami investigative reporter Jim DeFede, Fried indicated she was weighing whether to fight to take control of the Florida Democratic Party from its current Chair, Manny Diaz.

DeFede shared excerpts of his talk with Fried Wednesday on Twitter.

“I care deeply for the people of my state and I’m heartbroken for what happened last night,” she said. “Obviously we have some issues with the structure of the Democratic Party, (and) I’m trying to figure out what’s best for the party.”

Fried later took to Twitter to say she wouldn’t be pursuing the position.

“Appreciate the love, but I am NOT running to be Chair of (the Florida Democratic Party),” she said. “A lot of things need to change to restore our winning coalition from 2018 — and I will continue fighting for that — just not by taking over the party.”

The only statewide elected Democrat in Florida, Fried will soon leave office after her unsuccessful bid for the party’s nomination in the 2022 Governor’s race.

Her successor in the Agriculture Commissioner role is Senate President Wilton Simpson, whose entry to the Cabinet will place every statewide office in GOP hands.

Election Day was a bloodbath for Democrats, who lost four incumbent seats in the Legislature — two in the Senate, two in the House — and lost eight other contests for open seats.

Those losses expanded the majority Republicans lawmakers already enjoyed in Tallahassee to supermajorities in both chambers — controlling each by a two-thirds margin — and prompted Democratic leaders like Miami Gardens Sen. Shevrin Jones to call for a recalibration of the party’s strategies.

“Democrats have taken large swaths of the electorate for granted, chased the ‘shiny objects’ of the day from a messaging standpoint — oftentimes landing on disjointed, tone-deaf themes — empowered by the same few consultants despite loss after loss, and failed to build a sustained presence and organization in communities across the state,” he said in a scathing screed Wednesday.

Florida Democrats must commit to playing “the long game,” Jones said, if the party ever hopes to “change course in the foreseeable future.”

Part of that long game may involve Diaz’s ouster, Fried told DeFede.

“The coup is reportedly already underway to amass the required votes to take Diaz down,” DeFede said, referring to a potential move by the party’s Executive Committee to vote him out.

Diaz is a former two-term Mayor of Miami. He took the chairmanship of the Florida Democratic Party less than two years ago, on Jan. 9, 2021. His current term doesn’t end for another two years.

But calls for him to leave early have been coming for months. In late October, POLITICO reported that Democratic National Committee member Thomas Kennedy demanded Diaz’s resignation the day after the 2022 election.

NBC News reported Diaz is now considering it after Tuesday’s crushing defeat, citing an unnamed “confidant who was not authorized to speak on his behalf.”

Diaz has maintained the difficulties the party is facing aren’t his fault alone. On Tuesday, he shared a memo with reporters noting that national Democratic groups spent just $1.35 million in Florida during this election cycle compared to almost $59 million in 2018.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


  • John

    November 9, 2022 at 7:13 pm

    She’s absolutely right, and last night only goes to show how good Democrats here had it with her and Gillum leading the charge. This state has been trending red for a while but a lot of that has to do with the inactivity, disorganization, and out of touch attitude of the FL Dems.

    • eva

      November 12, 2022 at 2:59 pm

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    • just sayin

      November 15, 2022 at 10:07 am

      I honestly can’t tell if this is sarcasm or not.

  • Joe Corsin

    November 9, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    Don’t feel bad Nikki. The people in Florida so stupid they’re easily duped by far right propaganda and snake oil from that NYC carpet bagger Donald Trump. Their brains are fried and they’re now slaves to the far right hogs, far right grifters, Christian fascists etc.

    • Bob

      November 11, 2022 at 10:31 am

      This comment is not helpful. Name calling is how a lot of this happened.

    • just sayin

      November 15, 2022 at 10:08 am

      Now tell us how you feel about the brown people who didn’t vote your way….

    • Jack Meoff

      November 16, 2022 at 7:22 am

      Thanks Joe! You’ve inspired me to work even harder for the Republicans next election cycle! And I’ve finally convinced my sister and her husband, both staunch Republicans, to move here from Cali, so more good news!
      Far right grifters & Christian fascists? Sign me up!

  • Nate

    November 9, 2022 at 8:00 pm

    Yeah, change leadership at the FDP and in 2024 you will still remain roadkill as a party. You will need a whole more than that to be competitive here. Right now, you are incompetent, impotent and incapacitated.

    • Elliott Offen

      November 9, 2022 at 8:23 pm

      Enjoy your far right police state buddy. It’s all fun and games before they come for your ass too. Also billionaires now control the state so don’t ask for a raise! That comes out of some billionaires profits and they’ll sht can you before they pay you another dime. Enjoy skyrocketing housing prices and rent on top of that. Your grandchildren will be living 10 to a house!

      • Nate

        November 9, 2022 at 8:41 pm

        If we live in a police state buddy, then get your ass out of this country and find a place to live where you can still live in misery and remain unhappy! Ok, buddy?!

        • Elliott Offen

          November 9, 2022 at 10:11 pm

          I’m working on it. I won’t be unhappy either that I can tell you. Some of you apes have never left the county you live in much less the state or the country. Don’t know how much better it is elsewhere n don’t know your balls from your azzhole. And yes Florida is a police state. You can’t even fkin fart without the cops being called. It’s fkn rediculous. Half the gd population as been arrested. WTF is that?

          • Ron DeSantis Sucks

            November 10, 2022 at 4:06 am

            Source for half of the population having been arrested?

          • Tim

            November 10, 2022 at 5:44 pm

            When politics makes you act, the way you are acting… it is time to take a break from politics.

      • Mefunzalo

        November 10, 2022 at 3:44 pm

        Can I borrow your crystal ball?

  • David in Shoreline

    November 9, 2022 at 8:56 pm

    Did Nikki lose all her lobbying contracts? Now she’s desperate for a job? JUST GO AWAY. New York would be a good fit.

    • Joe Corsin

      November 9, 2022 at 10:15 pm

      What in the hell are you talking about? Ron DeSanctimonious invited everyone in New York here including King Carpet Bagger Donald Trump. They’re the ones coming here and driving up prices of homes and just about everything else. Flunked out up there now here. More flunkeys is all we need down here in this neo nazi sht hole.

  • tom palmer

    November 9, 2022 at 9:19 pm

    The article in last Sunday’s NYTimes magazine lays out the Democratic Party’s misdirection and misguided agenda and inexplicable decision to abandon state and local races.

    • Ocean Joe

      November 10, 2022 at 5:05 am

      You have to go back to Howard Dean as national party chair to see a serious, coordinated, 50-state efforts.
      But the disorganization is to be expected when you compare the big tent/variety of viewpoints among Dems vs. the more limited, homogenous positions of the GOP.
      The 2020 GOP platform (Whatever Trump says we support) is a pretty good example of that.

      • Tom

        November 10, 2022 at 7:38 am

        And going along with Trump cost 2020 election and Georgia turned blue then too. Now loses worse for the GOP as historically they’ve taken way more seats in the midterm with Dem president. Only Florida major flop because of crippling right wing propaganda campaign. People too stupid to realize it in Florida.. this is the problem and not the FDP. FDP counted on people having more gd sense! This was the mistake. GOP assume people are stupid and the FDP doesn’t.

        • Jack Meoff

          November 16, 2022 at 7:26 am

          Friend, Florida flipped red because we outlawed voter fraud. Cheating in elections is the only thing the dems have going for them.

  • Yrral

    November 9, 2022 at 9:26 pm

    Their nothing the Democrats can do about White Spiteful Republicans,but shed the light on their racism,they live in their stately mansion ,while they look down other White as trailer park trash

  • Ron DeSantis Sucks

    November 10, 2022 at 4:11 am

    The entire Florida Democratic party is broken. Not just the chair, but at all levels, especially the legislature. For example, making Lauren Book the Senate minority leader was a terrible idea. This was a bloodbath, and though I am quite obviously upset that DeSantis won a second term (by huge margins, too…), the Florida Democratic party is way too passive and pathetic.. Here’s hoping for reform coming into 2024.

  • Yrral

    November 10, 2022 at 6:38 am

    People in Florida must be on sedative,two major Hurricane,has destroyed one half of the other half is being destroyed today,now that Republicans may have control of one house,they may see nothing in form of relief,but rising insurance bill,

  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    November 10, 2022 at 8:05 am

    The crazed Democrat commenters illustrate why they were crushed. Fried was a major disaster along with the Chameleon

  • Theda Bosio

    November 10, 2022 at 8:20 am

    I too am so disappointed about our losses
    The country is turning away from red MAGA politics & Fl is now a red state. Totally going in the wrong direction
    This is so sad for me and I’m sure many others
    We need new leaders and a new message for Fl we should be discussing where we begin and do it now!!

    • Joe Corsin

      November 23, 2022 at 12:57 am

      You need to watch Buck Breaking by Tariq Nasheed. He speaks truth to power and is exactly the kind of leadership we need right now.

  • Harold Finch

    November 10, 2022 at 3:02 pm

    In reality, Fried winning the Ag Commissioner was a result of a rift created by the campaign tactics of Matt Caldwell in the republican primary, reusling in Baxter Trutman and Denise Grimsley both republicans in the race, supporting Fried in the General Election rather than Caldwell.
    Fried is has been and so is the democratic party in Floridaa!!

  • Mefunzalo

    November 10, 2022 at 3:51 pm

    Can I borrow your crystal ball?

  • Yrral

    November 12, 2022 at 10:35 am

    House still play,Senate is totally in Dem control

  • Yrral

    November 12, 2022 at 10:35 am

    House still play,Senate is totally in Dem control

  • Margaret Koscielny

    November 12, 2022 at 11:31 am

    Incompetence at bth State and National level of Democratic Party leadership illustrated in lack of emphasis on younger voters. This is the demographic which helped Democrats in other states win. Too many people still hols to the myth that everyone in Florida is formerly from NY. The state is characterized in too limited fashion in the media, especially.
    The future is with the young folks. Leadership of the Democratic Party should reflect respect for that preset and coming reality.

  • Nick Ireland

    November 13, 2022 at 12:52 pm

    lauren Book is killing the Democratic Party. They were already struggling before then, but Book is literally a one-trick pony. If it isn’t about child abuse (a low-hanging fruit issue), she brings little to the table. She can’t be bothered to show up and/or vote on important matters and voted with DeSantis on a few key issues. She can’t even make her own decisions. Her DUI daddy runs her seat. Until Book is ousted, don’t expect conditions to improve.

  • Space Baby

    November 14, 2022 at 7:11 pm

    Reading these comments, most of you need to be abducted and given an anal probe.

    • Joe Corsin

      November 23, 2022 at 1:01 am

      ☝️Rape Culture promoter☝️

      Stop promoting rape culture ok? It’s not funny!! It hurts my feelings 🙁 🙁 I think I need to cuddle up and cry for a while to feel better.

Comments are closed.


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