Nikki Fried Launches Bid For Chair of Florida Democratic Party
Abortive Democratic Gubernatorial candidate and former Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried threw her hat into the ring to become the next Chairperson of the Florida Democratic Party.
Fried’s Monday announcement came as various party officials encouraged her to run after she said she was not interested in the position just days after the Democrat’s bruising midterm election losses in the Sunshine State.
Fried’s announcement on Twitter echoed similar themes to her gubernatorial campaign, saying that she was running to combat ‘right-wing extremism’ and ‘oppression.’
“As Florida Democrats, we either fight like hell against right-wing extremism or accept irrelevance and oppression. I choose to fight. That’s why I’m running to be the Chair of the @fladems. LFG.” She said.
As Florida Democrats, we either fight like hell against right-wing extremism or accept irrelevance and oppression. I choose to fight.
That’s why I’m running to be the Chair of the @fladems. LFG.
— Nikki Fried (@NikkiFried) February 13, 2023
Fried said that she is running to get the Democratic Party to prioritize issues such as women’s rights and climate change, and to encourage more ‘diverse voices’ to emerge as leaders.
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“My decision is not one made lightly,” Fried said in a statement shared with Playbook. “It comes after months of listening to friends, advisors and Democrats across the state. Florida Democratic Party chair was not the path I had originally envisioned for myself, but too much is at stake to sit on the sidelines — from women’s rights, economic opportunity and climate change to affording housing, protecting our democracy and education. We have to unite our diverse voices and refocus on the issues and grassroots organizing that wins elections”
My decision is not one made lightly,” Fried said. “It comes after months of listening to friends, advisors and Democrats across the state. Florida Democratic Party chair was not the path I had originally envisioned for myself, but too much is at stake to sit on the sidelines…"
— Gary Fineout (@fineout) February 13, 2023
The final statewide elected Democrat who lost to former Congressman Charlie Crist in the Democratic primary said she wants to ‘rededicate’ the party to voter registration and build out their ‘progressive coalitions’.
Fried vowed to “rededicate ourselves to voter registration, training and growing our progressive coalitions. I am determined to rebuild the trust of national committees and I will dedicate the full weight of the party to quality candidate recruitment and to reforming our antiquated weighted vote system and bylaws which too often exclude rather than include.”
Leading progressives in Florida immediately voiced their support for Fried after her announcement.
It’s been weeks. Several candidates. I’ve heard all of their messages. I like them all individually. I’ve weighed the field.
But, as a Gen Z fighter on the front lines of the fight for progressive change, I’m supporting Nikki Fried for @FlaDems chair. https://t.co/pyCME4MT3i
— Elijah Manley (@iElijahManley) February 13, 2023
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Still, Republicans seemed to support Fried’s bid for Chair as they believed she would harm the Democratic Party more than help it. Some Democrats seemed to agree with that sentiment.
What does it say when Ultra MAGA Republican extremists—including those from the likely Ron DeSantis 2024 Presidential campaign—are hoping @NikkiFried becomes the Democratic Party Chair? It shows that the Florida Democratic Party would be even weaker under Nikki Fried. pic.twitter.com/AngA9cNTuf
— Jayson Frascatore (@JaysonFras) February 13, 2023
Just days after the disastrous midterm election where Democrats lost every statewide office by double-digit margins, Fried said that she had no interest in running for Chair of the party.
“Appreciate the love, but I am NOT running to be Chair of @FlaDems. 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.” Fried said in a statement on Twitter
Appreciate the love, but I am NOT running to be Chair of @FlaDems. 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.
— Nikki Fried (@NikkiFried) November 9, 2022
It’s possible that Fried changed her mind after various Democratic officials in the state encouraged her to run. Last week, 30 members of the state Democratic Executive Committee penned a letter calling her the ‘obvious best choice for Party Chair.’
“As voting members chosen to elect the next Chair of the Florida Democratic Party, we believe that Nicole ‘Nikki’ Fried is the obvious best choice for Party Chair and we will pledge our votes to the only Democratic statewide Cabinet member the state has elected in decades,” the members state in the short letter. “We are calling on Nikki Fried to join the race for Chair of the Florida Democratic Party and work with us to secure victory for Florida Democrats up and down the ballot.”
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