Former Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a Democrat who had hoped to become the first woman governor of Florida but didn’t win in the 2022 gubernatorial primary race, has been elected as the new chair of the Florida Democratic Party.
Florida Democrats on Saturday posted a celebratory tweet:
“The Florida Democratic Party congratulates @NikkiFried on being elected to lead our party as the new Chair. We look forward to working together to elect Democrats up and down the ballot to deliver for Floridians.”
Fried, an attorney, former Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and former elected Cabinet member, was the lone statewide Democrat on the Cabinet who fought against the conservative agenda of Gov. Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis.
After leaving her statewide post following the 2022 election, Fried initially said she wasn’t interested in running for the chair of the party, but fairly late in the game she put her name in for consideration.
Her main competitor was former State Sen. Annette Taddeo, of Miami-Dade, and it was a close race, with a POLITICO tweet reporting Fried with a 52 percent of the vote.
Fried succeeds former party Chair Manny Diaz, who had announced he was resigning in early January from serving as chair of the Florida Democratic Party.
Fried will face a momentous task: To bring more Democrats into the fold, increase the number of Democratic candidates who can win races, and bring back a Florida that is at least purple, not red in the political scene. And keep in mind that DeSantis is considering a presidential bid for 2024.
In a last e-mail before party leaders would be voting on the chair Saturday, Fried wrote: “I’ve heard your ideas and your vision to reclaim our state from Ron DeSantis and the Republicans who have led us very far astray.”
She added: “I will need your support to rebuild our state. We may not always agree, but if we don’t agree, I will not attack you, or minimize you. I will listen and together we will find common ground. Unity and commitment to work together is more important now than ever …
“We will focus on the fundamentals. Rebuilding our voter registration lead, learning how to win at the local level and expanding vote-by-mail. We will lean into messaging that makes sense and refuse to cede ground to Republicans. We will empower you and your teams of volunteers to grow our Party and our mission. This is the foundation we need to reclaim our state. And if I am Chair we will build it together.”
After the vote, Fried said in a thank you statement:
“While today is a big win for our team, the change we need in Florida does not come from this election, change comes from getting up every day with a mission and purpose, daily acts of service, and empowering those who serve with you. And that is the kind of change we will implement in this new Florida Democratic Party! I want to thank all who stepped up to run for Chair and I know that I will have your support as we rebuild our Party. I want to give gratitude to every member of the voting body, to those who supported me from the sidelines, and to my team and their counsel …
“Today, we were reminded once again that we are a big tent party, and that together we can reclaim that fundamental truth — that out of many, we are one.”
Last week, the Republican Party of Florida elected its new chair — Christian Ziegler. He had served as the vice chair for the past four years. Ziegler grew up in North Georgia but became a fixture in Sarasota and Florida Republican politics.
–Danielle J. Brown, Florida Phoenix
You Go Girl!
Dianne Van Ingen says
You really think the democratic party has made our country great…wake up…take a look at what’s happening
Ray W. says
Actually, Dianne Van Ingen, the Democratic Party did participate in making this country great, when compared to nearly every other nation-state in the world over the same period of time. By your comment, is it fair to characterize you as a partisan member of faction?
If I were to live in a perfect or bad world, I would have to reluctantly agree with you. In such a world, since America is not now and has never been perfect, the only choice other than perfect is bad. In that way, both the Democratic and Republican parties have contributed to whatever is less than perfect in society. Under that deceptively wrong methodology of thought, it follows that both parties are bad. This seems to be the type of world you occupy. In a good, better, best/bad, worse, worst world, there is room to maneuver. When compared to other nations, just look at the Paris of the Mediterranean: Beirut. Once the banking and entertainment capital of the Middle East, it is now a wasteland, due to factional violence and tribal animosities. As Mr. Tristam once described the region, it is now a collection of tribes with flags, whose inhabitants hopefully stand in the streets to greet arriving armies, throwing rice at the feet of each successive intervening power, only they don’t throw Basmati; they throw Minute Rice, ever distrustful of the motives of those who wish to influence the region. Icarus on Crack, indeed!
Some time ago, I took the time to look at political party control of the Presidency and each branch of Congress over the last 94 years. I chose this time frame because it coincides with the absolute rock bottom of the American experiment (the beginning of the Great Depression during the first year of Hoover’s administration) and the ensuing extraordinarily exceptional gains in American influence, power, wealth, health advances (however poorly applied), educational opportunities, technological breakthroughs, and on and on, though admittedly we as a people could have done far better in many areas of daily life. Progress does indeed take many forms. It is not possible to argue that Democrats are responsible for every wrong in society today, particularly when there is so much to celebrate. Democrats have contributed far too much to the many successes we enjoy today, just as Republicans have also contributed much to the successes we enjoy today. Not only are you wrong, Diane Van Lingen, you are wronger than wrong.
In those 94 years, America has enjoyed 50 years of Democratic service in the White House. America has enjoyed 44 years of Republican service.
In those 94 years, America has enjoyed 62 years of Democratic majorities in the Senate. America has enjoyed 32 years of Republican majorities in the Senate.
In those 94 years, America has enjoyed 64 years of Democratic majorities in the House of Representatives. American has enjoyed 30 years of Republican majorities in the House of Representatives.
It bears repeating again and again James Madison’s views of the malignancy brought upon us all by the partisan members of faction among us, as he expressed them in his last paragraph of Federalist Paper #37 (I have repeatedly encouraged FlaglerLive readers to take the time and expend the effort to read, or reread, the Federalist Papers and, also, the Anti-Federalist Papers):
“We had occasion, in a former paper, to take notice of the repeated trials that have been unsuccessfully made in the United Netherlands for reforming the baneful and notorious vices of their constitution. The history of almost all the great councils and consultations held among mankind for reconciling their discordant opinions, assuaging their mutual jealousies, and adjusting their respective differences, is a history of factions, contentions and disappointments, and may be classed among the most dark and degraded pictures which display the infirmities and depravities of the human character. If, in a few scattered instances, a brighter aspect is presented, they serve only as exceptions to admonish us of the general truth; and by their lustre to darken the gloom of the adverse prospect to which they are contrasted. In revolving the causes from which these exceptions result, and applying them to the particular instance before us, we are necessarily led to two important conclusions. The first is, that the convention must have enjoyed, in a very singular degree, an exemption from the pestilential influence of party animosities — the disease most incident to deliberative bodies, and most apt to contaminate their proceedings. The second conclusion is that all the deputations composing the convention were satisfactorily accommodated by the final act, or were induced to accede to it by a deep conviction of the necessity of sacrificing private opinions and partial interests to the public good, and by a despair of seeing this necessity diminished by delays or by new experiments.”
Madison, considered by constitutional scholars, and by his peers, as the best educated and most intellectual of the members of the constitutional convention, was tasked with the responsibility of writing the proposed constitution. He, like many other members, hoped his proposed Constitution would foster the rise of men (or women) of virtue, but they all knew of the “infirmities and depravities of the human character” that were part and parcel of partisan politics. They opposed the “pestilential influence of party animosities”, which they considered a “disease.”
Diane Van Lingen, each day you can choose whether to present yourself as a pestilential member of faction or as a zealous advocate who bears a duty to rely on the exercise of intellectual rigor. Madison was very clear on that point. He admired the members of the constitutional convention. He despised members of faction. Thus far, pestilential member of faction is the most accurate way to describe your comment. You can do better. Remember always that our founding fathers knew that you would exist, that you would always exist. Their answer to the ever-present pestilential disease of faction was to pit faction against faction, in the hope that no one faction could ever gain complete control of the powers delegated to a multitude of municipal, county, regional, state, and federal governmental figures for an indefinite period of time. In their minds, today’s Democratic Party was an incredibly important counter to today’s Republican Party, and vice-versa.
I. F. Stone, in The Trial of Socrates, focused on what the Greeks thought would happen if all power were ever to be held by one man or a small number of like-minded men (faction):
“Euripides expressed his hatred for those who would destroy democracy. In a lost play, the Auge, of which only a few lines survive, Euripides had one of his characters cry out, ‘Cursed be all who rejoice to see the city in the hands of a single man or under the yoke of a few men! The name of freeman is the most precious of all titles: to possess it is to have much, even when one has little.’
“This democratic viewpoint also finds expression in the Phoenician Maidens. Eteocles, fighting his brother for the throne of Thebes, cries out passionately, ‘I would fight my way to the risings of the sun and stars, or if I could, plunge below the earth to seize Power [tyrannida, tyranny], greatest of all the gods.’ But his mother, Jocasta, reproves her power-hungry son. She warns him that ambition is the worst of all divinities and the goddess of injustice. She praises isotes — equality — as a finer ideal. ‘Better far, my son,’ she says, ‘prize equality that ever linketh friend to friend, city to city, and allies to each other, for equality is man’s natural law.’ This was the voice of fifth-century Athens at its best.”
Is there any question that our founding fathers studied Greek philosophy, that our founding fathers, steeped in the educational mold of the Scottish Enlightenment, hoped to build a nation on the goddess of justice, that our founding fathers opposed men (and women) of ambition, driven by the goddess of injustice?
Take Off The Gloves says
1. The influx of people moving here over the last 2 years were primarily Republican.
2. The Republicans convinced Latinos (namely Cubans) that’s Dems were like Castro when the Republicans are acting like Fidel and Orban and Putin.
3. They put forward candidates that do not excite the Dem voters. I’m sorry but Charlie Crist is not someone I was enthusiastic about, neither was Nikki. Val Demmings, yes, I happily voted for her but she lost because she didn’t have enough support from the DNC. I saw one ad of hers to ten of Rubio. And her messaging needed a different path.
It’s not enough to say you’re different with a positive spin. You need to show the receipts why the Republicans are lying, grifting con artists by using their own words and videos. DeSantis has plenty that contradict what he’s doing right now. His upcoming book? Hahaha. He basically says slavery and declaring black people as 3/4 of a person was necessary for the slave owning racist founders to sign rhe Declaration Of Independence. That there were handful who wouldn’t unless those terms were met. So that makes it okay? Nooooooooo. It’s never okay to own someone.
Take the gloves off. When they go low, we shove their faces in the mud and hold them there. It’s beyond time. There is no compromise with people trying to erase black people and LGBTQ people from not only history but the present.
Will the Democratic Party send a message that will resonate with the people? We a need a message that will get Democrats to the polls. We need a message that will interest people to vote. The Republicans gave us some tools last year we did o.k. nation wide but not in Florida. We can make a dent in Florida but we must work to achieve that goal. We see what the Repubs are doing we must and can do better than what they are doing in the state. In 2024 I will vote Democrat and hope millions will vote Democrat with me, time will tell. She need people to stand behind her. The Repubs are telling women what to do with their bodies, they are saying African American should not be taught in school. They are making it harder for us to vote. They gave us some tools, we need to use them wisely. They thought there would be a great red wave I believe RvW put a lid on that, let us use it in the State of Florida. We can be the Repubs will we?
Bill C says
To demonstrate how extreme the Republican Party has become, even Mike Pence has refused to condemn the calls on January 6th for his own HANGING! (Trump said “he deserves it”). Pence is afraid this would alienate him from the Republican base if he called Trump out. It used to be the Democrats were blue (liberal) and the Republicans were red (conservative). Now from the perspective of the ideologically extreme perspective of the Republicans, normal discourse is labeled the “Radical Left”, “Socialist”. The reductionism of Republican stars like Marjory Taylor Green reduce debate into single words- “LIAR”. Red vs. Blue doesn’t cut it anymore, it implies a balance of opposing viewpoints. The Republican base is unbalanced, staggering toward a dumbed- down society and the end of democracy. You must vote for Nikki Fried as a beginning to end this madness .
Fried has donated to and supported Republicans in the past as well as recommending suing the Biden administration so it is possible she will be able to find a message that resonates with the larger base of middle of the road voters. I think it was a wise choice
Go away, Nikki, and take all your cronies with you.
Gillum, Christ and Nikkie?? If this is the best that Dems have for Florida, it has nothing to worry about. It will stay Red.
It doesn’t mater unless PEOPLE get out and VOTE. So much BS from voters that fail to go vote. Walk the talk and vote then we might get somewhere. Strength in numbers as they say.