Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) has been on the offensive against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) for months leading up to her official gubernatorial campaign announcement. However, financial reports from May indicate that the gubernatorial hopeful has raised significantly less campaign cash than both DeSantis and Florida Rep. Charlie Crist (D), her 2022 Democratic primary opponent.
A newly filed financial report shows that the committee Florida Consumers First has collected $214, 832 compared to the committee Friends of Ron DeSantis that raised north of $7.5 million, and Friends of Charlie Crist that raised more than $1.2 million in the same month.
Fried has also criticized Governor DeSantis’s stance on vaccine passports. During a “Nik at Nite” broadcast from her campaign that aired on Facebook live on Friday afternoon, Fried commented that “unfortunately, the Governor was going toward a very small sector of these anti-vaxxers.” She expressed that she feels “that’s where he wants to be for his base to support him,” adding that it’s “not just about here in Florida.”
Fried also commented on the rumor that’s long been circulating about a potential Donald Trump (R) and DeSantis ticket for the 2024 presidential election. “Remember, he’s running for President of the United States in 2024,” she said, adding that DeSantis is “using the citizens of our state and the power he has inside our state to stamp on our backs to get to the presidency in 2024.”
The agriculture commissioner shared her continued frustration with DeSantis, alleging that DeSantis did not consult with his Cabinet during the pandemic. “DeSantis went at this through the entire pandemic wanting to believe that he was right,” so “he didn’t talk to anybody.” Instead, Fried felt that “because he went at this alone, it was so imperative for him to be right.”
With the state opening up, Commissioner Fried commented that stories on Fox report that “Florida is open and we were right and I (DeSantis) was right.” Fried instead feels that it was a group effort, but “he doesn’t say us. He says a lot of I’s.”
So far, Rep. Crist, who’s previously served as Governor of Florida, has a lead over Fried in the polls, but the Florida Chamber of Commerce released a poll that shows DeSantis leading his Democratic challengers.