MIAMI — Nikki Fried, Florida’s agriculture commissioner, declared her candidacy for governor on Tuesday, casting herself because the Democratic Get together’s finest choice to defeat Ron DeSantis, the favored Republican incumbent, given her position as the one statewide elected Democrat.
“After twenty years of Republican governors, it’s time to strive one thing new,” Ms. Fried mentioned in a quick telephone interview days earlier than her announcement. “It’s time for a change.”
Ms. Fried is the second main Democrat to enter the race. Consultant Charlie Crist of St. Petersburg started his marketing campaign final month and has been holding political occasions throughout the state. Mr. Crist is much better recognized: He served as Florida’s Republican governor from 2007 to 2011, misplaced a Senate run as an unbiased in 2012 and ran unsuccessfully towards Gov. Rick Scott in 2014 as a Democrat.
Ms. Fried, who was elected in 2018, acknowledged that Mr. Crist would begin the race with higher identify recognition, however mentioned she had “little doubt” that Democratic voters can be hungry for a recent different.
Earlier than successful the 2018 election by simply 6,753 votes, Ms. Fried, 43, labored as a Fort Lauderdale-based lawyer and medical marijuana lobbyist. She boasts that she holds each a medical marijuana card and a concealed-weapons allow.
The governor’s contest within the nation’s third-largest state started early, as Democrats hope to stall the political profession of Mr. DeSantis, who’s broadly seen as a doable presidential contender in 2024 if he wins re-election subsequent 12 months. He has just lately traveled to talk at political occasions in Pennsylvania and Texas.
Consultant Val Demings of Orlando had additionally been seen as a possible Democratic challenger to Mr. DeSantis. However she is about to announce a marketing campaign towards Senator Marco Rubio as an alternative, a transfer that has scrambled plans for different Democrats down the poll. Consultant Stephanie Murphy of Winter Park determined towards a Senate run after Ms. Demings’s choice grew to become public.
State Senator Annette Taddeo of Miami, who was Mr. Crist’s working mate in 2014, continues to be weighing a candidacy for governor.
“I’ll proceed assembly with supporters throughout the state to evaluate the very best path for me to do probably the most good for the folks of Florida,” Ms. Taddeo mentioned in a press release final week.