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NBC2 talks exclusively with Nikki Fried after she announces run for governor

Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried said she’s running for governor to break what she calls a rigged system.

She is urging Florida voters to try something new since the state has never had a woman as governor.

Fried is Florida’s only statewide elected democrat. She won the seat back in 2018 when she defeated former state representative and now Lee Property Appraiser Republican Matt Caldwell.

She now believes she’s the best candidate to defeat Governor Ron DeSantis.

NBC2’s Chief Political Reporter Dave Elias spoke with Fried after the announcement:

Nikki Fried:   The people of our state want something new.  They want to know that they’ve got a leader who is going to put aside partisan differences and work together…work across party lines and get things done.  We are in the right position. I’ve been tested.  I’m ready for this fight. 

Dave Elias:   Well the fight first starts with Charlie Crist of course a well-known name.  How do you get past that hurdle?

Nikki Fried:   I know Charlie as most of you do. I was a little disappointed that he decided to leave his congressional seat where we need his vote up in the cabinet, DC, in a majority democratic congress.   I know that the mission and vision that I have for the state of Florida is going to resonate with the people of our state. 

Dave Elias:   Now let’s focus on the fight with Governor DeSantis, assuming you get the democratic nomination.   You refer to the governor as an authoritarian and why?

Nikki Fried:    I mean look at how he leads.  It’s his way or the highway. He believes he is always right.  He’s smarter than everyone else in the room and doesn’t bring people to the table.  More importantly, stepping on the backs of Floridians to get to the presidential race in 2024 and I stand by my words.

Dave Elias:  Odds are against you in 2022 and here’s why I say that because after going all the way back to 1822 there has never been a woman as governor in Florida.   Your reaction to that?

Nikki Fried:   I love a good challenge.    There was also never a female commissioner of agriculture in all the years in the state of Florida.  Being the first female governor in the state of Florida isn’t about breaking a glass ceiling.  It’s showing the young generation and young girls across our state that anything is possible.

Dave Elias:   After you announced yesterday republicans referred to you as a lockdown lobbyist.  Your reaction to that comment?

Nikki Fried:  You know if they ignored me yesterday I would be worried but the fact that they attacked me so fast shows they are concerned and they know I have the right message for the people of our state.  

Republican Political Consultant Terry Miller said he believes Fried has a big nut to crack in order to win the primary.

Miller warns anyone going up against DeSantis has an uphill battle.

“Governor DeSantis has proven himself as governor and proved himself as a congressman and Nikki is going to have to overcome that experience level,” Miller predicted.

However Lee County Democratic Committeewoman Kari Lerner blamed republican leadership that has led to an ecological disaster which she predicted will lead to an economic disaster unless a democrat is elected.

Lerner believes democrats have two solid candidates.

“Well it’s time for a change,” Lerner said.

“So if the republicans want to attack me and attack all of the things I have done for the people of our great state then I say bring it on,” Fried concluded.

So far Fried is going up against seven other democrats in the 2022 primary.

The most well-known name is former Governor Charlie Crist.

One republican and two no party affiliates have also filed to run.

The post NBC2 talks exclusively with Nikki Fried after she announces run for governor appeared first on NBC2 News.

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