Florida’s Democratic agricultural commissioner, Nikki Fried, announces her bid for governor.


MIAMI — Nikki Fried, Florida’s agriculture commissioner, declared her candidacy for governor on Tuesday, casting herself because the Democratic Party’s greatest choice to defeat Ron DeSantis, the favored Republican incumbent, given her position as the one statewide elected Democrat.

“After two decades of Republican governors, it’s time to try something new,” Ms. Fried stated in a short cellphone interview days earlier than her announcement. “It’s time for a change.”

Ms. Fried is the second main Democrat to enter the race. Representative Charlie Crist of St. Petersburg began his campaign last month and has been holding political occasions throughout the state. Mr. Crist is much better recognized: He served as Florida’s Republican governor from 2007 to 2011, misplaced a Senate run as an unbiased in 2012 and ran unsuccessfully in opposition to Gov. Rick Scott in 2014 as a Democrat.

Ms. Fried, who was elected in 2018, acknowledged that Mr. Crist would begin the race with higher title recognition, however stated she had “no doubt” that Democratic voters could be hungry for a contemporary different.

Before profitable the 2018 election by simply 6,753 votes, Ms. Fried, 43, labored as a Fort Lauderdale-based lawyer and medical marijuana lobbyist. She boasts that she holds each a medical marijuana card and a concealed-weapons allow.

The governor’s contest within the nation’s third-largest state started early, as Democrats hope to stall the political profession of Mr. DeSantis, who’s extensively seen as a possible presidential contender in 2024 if he wins re-election subsequent yr. He has not too long ago traveled to talk at political occasions in Pennsylvania and Texas.

Representative Val Demings of Orlando had additionally been seen as a probable Democratic challenger to Mr. DeSantis. But she is set to announce a marketing campaign in opposition to Senator Marco Rubio as an alternative, a transfer that has scrambled plans for different Democrats down the poll. Representative Stephanie Murphy of Winter Park determined in opposition to a Senate run after Ms. Demings’s resolution grew to become public.

State Senator Annette Taddeo of Miami, who was Mr. Crist’s working mate in 2014, continues to be weighing a candidacy for governor.

“I will continue meeting with supporters across the state to assess the best path for me to do the most good for the people of Florida,” Ms. Taddeo stated in a press release final week.





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