Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried officially running for governor

Politics

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has officially announced she is running for Florida governor.

Fried filed election paperwork as a Democrat on Tuesday afternoon and made her official announcement on Twitter.

“It’s time to break the rigged, corrupt system in Florida with #SomethingNew,” she wrote as a caption on her campaign announcement video.

Fried promised she would announce “something new” on June 1, and said it was “becoming clearer and clearer that Ron DeSantis needs to be a one term governor.”

It will be an uphill battle to unseat Gov. DeSantis, according to J. Edwin Benton, a USF professor of political science and public administration, simply because he is the incumbent, and incumbents have a 90% or greater chance of winning, Benton says.

But, according to Benton, Fried may already have an advantage over Crist.

“Her advantages, she is speaking to the issues where DeSantis is verbal and she’s being doing it longer than Crist has, so I will give her the advantage although she comes up shorter than Crist as far a political visibility,” Benton said. “Crist’s name is well-known more so than Fried, although she’s come along, her name is more recognized before, but she got a head start on Crist on attacking DeSantis long before he did.”

In a poll conducted by St. Pete Polls in late March, Fried came in a dead heat in a hypothetical matchup with DeSantis.

A political committee with ties to Nikki Fried raised about $360,000 in April. That same month, he Friends of Ron DeSantis political committee raised nearly $14 million, according to the Florida Department of State.

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