Nikki Fried wins race to lead Florida Democrats
Nikki Fried is shifting her star power to electing pro-choice Democrats.

Fried Official Campaign Photo
After a contentious election, the former Agriculture Commissioner won on the first ballot.

The Florida Democratic Party has elected former Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried as its new State Chair.

Fried defeated former state Sen. Annette Taddeo and former Progressive Caucus Chair Carolina Ampudia for the chair position at a special meeting in Orlando, winning the race with 52% of the vote on the first ballot and dashing hopes of Taddeo supporters who hoped to see a rally of uncommitted votes swing the race.

In the final tally, Fried scored 601 votes to Taddeo’s 536, with 3 votes going to Ampudia.

Fried promised now the focus will turn to defeating Republicans, promising to send Sen. Rick Scott “back to Naples for good.”

While a late entry into the race, Fried quickly rallied votes from key committee members from counties throughout the state.

She repurposed a slogan from her campaign last year for Governor, and promised Democrats she will provide “something new.”

“We are going to bring a structure for our party that works for everybody,” Fried said.

She advocated fixes in bylaws so people have more of a say in the party.

“I have given my heart and soul in the state for the last four years, taking on the radical Republicans every day.”

She also attacked Gov. Ron DeSantis in her speech, saying she spent the last four years as the only Democrat on the Cabinet fighting the good fight.

“You have seen me every single day, fighting against the most zealous fascist dictator that this state has ever seen,” she said.

A total of five candidates had publicly announced they would run for State Chair. But two dropped out before votes were cast in the election. Alex Berrios ended his run shortly after Fried entered.

Rick Hoye, chairman of the Broward County Democratic Party, stayed in long enough to take the stage to give a speech to members. But during that time, he withdrew his name from nomination and encouraged members to support Fried instead.

The race had apparently grown more acrimonious in the buildup to a final vote. Taddeo in her speech to members said she had asked Fried to sit down with her before the election to discuss the future of the party. She said that offer still stands.

“We must start winning. We have to get ourselves organized, register voters, neighborhood organize, all of the things that we know how to do because we have done it.”

Fried in her speech also expressed a desire for party unity.

“Divisiveness is over,” she said.

She alluded to her win for a race for Student Body President at the University of Florida, which she said also had been divisive. But she said the party members have won this race if they band together again.

The chair position opened up following the resignation of former Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz following underperformance in the Midterms by Florida Democrats.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Michael

    February 25, 2023 at 6:10 pm

    Typical loser FL Dimo dumb. I laugh.

  • Earl Pitts American

    February 25, 2023 at 6:39 pm

    Good Evening America,
    Great news our little Desantis ankle biter won. This is the best possable outcome conservatives could have hoped for. With this scatter brain in charge of things we can expect conservative rule in the Free State of Florida for the next 10 election cycles.
    Thank You America,
    Earl Pitts Americab

  • tom palmer

    February 25, 2023 at 7:27 pm

    Now comes the hard part. The Florida Democratic Party seems to be dysfunctional. They need to come up with own agenda rather than simply taking the bait every time Gov. DeSantis issues some vacuous culture war screed. You need to be for stuff, not against it. Oh, yeah, voter registration does matter. I don’t understand why that didn;t register.

    • Opie Taylor

      February 25, 2023 at 7:40 pm

      Republicans are prepped up to use ballott harvesting where legal and do basically everything Democrats have done to win in the past. You may want to leave the Dark Side soon Tom. Its becoming less fashionable, less cool, and more stupid to identify as a leftist Tom. Come on over we have a big tent Tom.

  • Woody

    February 25, 2023 at 10:13 pm

    In the State of Florida.

    The stage has gone black, the curtain has fallen,

    the Democrat Party is….

    all washed up
    belly up
    burned out
    done for
    down and out
    down for the count
    down the drain
    down the tubes
    had it
    on the skids
    out of business in Florida
    out of circulation
    washed up
    wiped out
    (many thanks to the thesaurus)

  • It’s Complicated

    February 25, 2023 at 10:15 pm


  • Paul Passarelli

    February 26, 2023 at 12:07 am

    The article states: “But Fried promised now the focus will turn to defeating Democrats, promising to send Sen. Rick Scott ”

    LOL — was that a freudian slip?

Comments are closed.


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