Nikki Fried, D-Fla. is the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Fried is currently the only Democrat in a statewide office, according to the Associated Press.
Fried is the first Democrat to be elected Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services since 2001. She is also the first woman to ever be elected to the position.
When former Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., lost his fourth term reelection last year to former Florida Governor Rick Scott, R-Fla., Florida had a vacuum of Democratic leaders.
This is where Fried stepped in.
“Bill Nelson was a throwback to a different Democratic Party. Nikki represents the more in-your-face, progressive wing of the party for sure, but at the same time, she’s able to roll up her sleeves when it comes to governing because she actually is quite competent,” Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., told the Associated Press.
According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Fried was formerly a lobbyist for clients such as the Walt Disney Co. and the School Board of Broward County. Fried is also a UF College of Law alumni.
Fried was the head of the Felony Division at the Alachua County Public Defender’s office and a foreclosure attorney in South Florida, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Politico reports that in 2018, running on a pro-medical marijuana platform, Fried narrowly won her election with just a 0.08% advantage.
Many say that Fried isn’t afraid to challenge President Trump on divisive subjects. Being Jewish herself, she has already denounced his statement that Jewish voters who vote left-leading are disloyal. She has also brought attention to the president shifting money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to create immigrant detention centers.
“He’s going to put the entire world into a recession by his tweets, which I just find is so irresponsible from somebody who is supposed to be not just the leader of our country, but the leader of the free world and somebody who is supposed to inspire the next generation,” Fried told the Associated Press.
Fried says that she takes her position as honorary head of the Democratic party in Florida very seriously, but that she didn’t expect to be the only statewide elected Democrat when she entered the race in 2018.
Fried remarked, “I do see myself as the head of the party, as our state bearer of the Democratic Party. As I’ve also said, as a member of the Cabinet, it’s state before party. And we need to see more of that in D.C., because that is the only way that anything is going to get accomplished, is we push aside the partisan politics and work on policy,” WUSF Public Media reports.
She has even praised Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., an avid Trump supporter, for his stances on medical marijuana and the environment.
One of Fried’s main platform issues has been medical marijuana. According to Vice News, Fried has plans to get FDA regulations on both CBD and THC. For now, though, she hopes the CBD standards she passes in Florida will set an example for other states, as well as for national regulation.
“We have the most experts in all fields agriculture. Our rules are going to be what they’re going to compare every other state against,” Fried told Vice.
Florida Democrats are hopeful that Fried’s office will allow her to rally voters and cause President Trump to lose Florida’s electoral votes in the 2020 race.
Featured photo: Public record photo taken by the State of Florida.