Florida Democrats, Nikki Fried seek to swat down accusations of favoritism

nikki fried
A Senate candidate and Miami-Dade Chair candidate are questioning whether the party wants coronations instead of elections.

Florida Democratic Party (FDP) leaders are pushing back on accusations that they have shown favoritism in political contests. But FDP Chair Nikki Fried made no apologies for trying to restore strong leadership with the party.

“The party does not endorse and so we’ve made that very clear,” Fried told the press.

“But we have a lot on the line. We have democracy. We have freedoms. We are in a superminority in the House and the Senate. The Florida congressional delegation shrunk in size over the last few cycles, and we’re going to take that back. But that means that the adults in the room have to come together and figure out our best path forward.”

Her remarks came a day after Democratic Senate candidate Debbie Mucarsel-Powell spoke at a campaign event held by President Joe Biden in Tampa. Stanley Campbell, another Democrat in the race, issued a statement criticizing the party for “insensitivity and favoritism.”

“Whether the Party wants to admit it or not, this race is wide open and ignoring the preference of a large swath of committed voters does a disservice to those voters at a time when the Democratic Party can ill afford to alienate them,” he said.

Fried and party leaders didn’t discuss the Senate race specifically. But they did directly address accusations that the party was influencing who would vote in a Miami-Dade Democratic Party leadership race.

State Sen. Shevrin Jones, one of the candidates to chair the largest county party in the state, was part of the FDP press call and confronted the accusations.

“This concept of coronation or favoritism, this is really disruptive behavior that we were seeing and it amazes me that the focus right now from some of these individuals is to get into a personality and an ego battle and not deal with what we should be dealing with,” Jones said. “We should be dealing with messaging. We should be dealing with engagement, dealing with people, with apathy that actually exists here in Florida.”

Some local activists have criticized Fried’s decision to remove Robert Dempster as county Chair after Republicans in 2022 won the once solidly Democratic county in the Governor and Senate races, as well as winning several local contests. Dempster had come under fire for allegedly mismanaging party resources.

Billy Corben, Jones’ chief rival for county Chair, has also criticized a decision to schedule a vote on the position during the sabbath this Passover.

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].


  • Guam Might Tip

    April 24, 2024 at 11:52 am

    Nikki Fried, a chip off the old block with the Wasserman-Schultz favoritism. Hopefully #he will meet the same fate as DWS and get the axe. Although keeping Fried in her position will only strengthen the Republican Party.

    • Dont Say FLA

      April 24, 2024 at 12:28 pm

      To be fair the Republican party does need to be strengthened mightily.

      Rhonda, Don-duh, Little Marco, pRick Soctt and the swingin’ Moms for Libertiy are what the G0P’s got in Florida.


      • Guam Might Tip

        April 24, 2024 at 12:31 pm

        Nikki Fried thought she was going to catapult herself from Ag Commissioner to Governor. She used he Ag position to obstruct and harass DeSantis everyday. Well she got rolled by switch hitter Charlie Crist in the primary. DeSantis would have crushed her.

        • Dont Say FLA

          April 24, 2024 at 12:54 pm

          What is it with Ron DeSantis where RDS’ fans feel the need to make untestable, unverifiable claims of would-be victories all the dang time?

          Ron recently ran for something and lost terribly. That’s a fact. Folks can claim he would defeat Big Bird in mud wrestling all they want, and for whatever reason, they want.

          But why? I don’t get it. Ron is so insecure that his followers feel it and try to bolster him up with fictional victories in imaginary contests?

          Okay I will try and be nicer to Ron.

          I hereby declare Ron DeSantis to be Palatka High School’s 2024 Prom Queen. Ron very strongly defeated Terri Schaivo to claim the win.

  • Dont Say FLA

    April 24, 2024 at 12:27 pm

    Isn’t favoritism the whole point of political parties? Why malign Democrats for it when other the side of the aisle it’s perfectly normal and, whether whole or half, it’s heartily accepted by all those G0Ps who have yet to resign because the G0P is RINO. It’s just a bunch of dirty thieving MAGGAs now. Why would anyone vote GOP where rules and laws are for yee, but not for me.

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