Democrat Nikki Fried announced a run to try and unseat ‘authoritarian’ Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

ESTERO, FL - JUNE, 13: Florida agriculture commissioner Nikki Fried, center, speaks with Cody Lastinger, left, and Jeff Kreiger at Corkscrew Grove in Estero, FL on Thursday, June 13, 2019. Fried toured orange groves that are dying from citrus greening that could potentially be replaced with hemp plants. (Photo by Scott McIntyre/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Florida agriculture commissioner Nikki Fried is eyeing a gubernatorial run in 2022.

  • Nikki Fried, Florida’s Democratic agriculture commissioner, has announced a run for governor.
  • Fried is attempting to unseat Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who she called ‘authoritarian.’
  • She will seek the Democratic nomination, and is likely to face Rep. Charlie Crist in a primary.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Nikki Fried, Florida’s Democratic agriculture commissioner, has announced a run for governor in a bid to unseat Republican incumbent Ron DeSantis, who she previously called an “authoritarian dictator.”

Fried, who is the only Democrat on Florida’s cabinet, made the announcement in a video posted to Twitter on Tuesday.

“I’m Nikki Fried, and I’m here to break the rigged system here in Florida. It’s corrupt, it’s anti-democratic, and it’s time for something new,” she said in the video.

“Listen, this won’t be easy. Those in power will do whatever harm it takes to stay there. But I have spent my whole life taking on the system. I am unafraid, I’m tested, I am ready,” she said.

Fried is the second person to enter the race for the Democratic nomination after Rep. Charlie Crist, who is far better known and began his campaign last month, the New York Times reported.

Crist served as Florida’s Republican governor between 2007 and 2011, but became a Democrat in 2012.

Fried would also face a huge test in unseating DeSantis if she did secure the nomination. DeSantis has been tipped for a presidential run in 2024 and is seen by some GOP donors as “a nicer version” of former President Donald Trump.

Fried had repeatedly indicated that she was preparing for a 2022 run, and had teased yesterday’s announcement throughout May on her Twitter account.

While she did not name incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis in Tuesday’s announcement, she has repeatedly criticized him previously.

“The people of Florida … will see Ron DeSantis for who he is – an authoritarian dictator,” she said in a video posted to Twitter on May 12, adding: “It is becoming clearer and clearer that Ron DeSantis needs to be a one-term governor.”

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