The Democrat speaks on her chances of becoming governor
On June 15, Florida's Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried spoke on her chances of winning the forthcoming gubernatorial election if chosen as the Democratic nominee.
According to her comments, it would appear that the main thing she brings to the table is that Florida's Democrats are tired of the same old candidates and that she can offer them something new. Whether this will be enough to win her the nomination, or to defeat the incumbent Ron DeSantis remains to be seen.
A year of campaigning
Fried declared her interest in running as the Democratic candidate for governor over a year ago, and since that time has been trying to build momentum in the hope of winning the nomination. Her chances increased recently when on June 7, State Sen. Annette Taddeo withdrew herself from the running.
Taddeo was already lagging behind Fried, and frontrunner Charlie Crist in terms of fundraising and in early polls. While her withdrawal may help Fried, it seems there could still be some way to go. According to figures released on June 14, Crist raised $1 million in May while Fried could only muster donations from supporters of just over $302,000.
For context, Governor Ron DeSantis - the incumbent Republican governor - raised $10.2 million in May - the same total as Charlie Crist has managed to raise during his entire candidacy.
The pressures of a day job
The other significant challenge faced by Fried as she tries to build momentum in her campaign for governor, is the pressures of continuing her day job as Florida's Agriculture Commissioner.
Unfazed by the challenge before her, Fried continues to talk about the initiatives she would kick-off as governor if elected.
She has already called upon Governor DeSantis to take immediate action to tackle the ever-increasing cost of gasoline, rather than waiting until October - just before the election - to bringing proposed sales tax holidays on gasoline. She has also claimed that "Floridians can't afford Florida anymore" while calling attention to the rising cost of housing in the state. Her solution to the issue would be to declare a state of emergency on housing.
Fried isn't just about economic issues though. She is an advocate for medical use of marijuana in the state, and is herself a registered user of the drug. Her partner is also part-owner of a number of medical marijuana-related enterprises. She's in the process of suing the Biden administration in relation to restrictions on gun-ownership for medical marijuana users, and took to Twitter in May to state that as governor she would legalize the drug fully.
Fried may find other ways of appealing to voters in Florida, but this all relies on her winning out against Charlie Crist, and then Ron DeSantis. Her intentions and her boasts of being battle-hardened may not be enough. Time will tell.
Do you think Nikki Fried is a strong candidate for the gubernatorial election, or is she likely to struggle against Crist and ultimately, Governor DeSantis? Let me know in the comments section below.