Nikki Fried is a lifelong Floridian, lifelong Democrat, attorney, and passionate activist. And because she is a fighter, known for her ability to bring people of all parties and backgrounds together for a greater cause, the Community Newspapers endorses her for Florida State Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Fried says she is running for Florida Agriculture Commissioner primarily because she sees firsthand how state politicians are failing the people with medical marijuana, by denying access to sick, injured, and dying individuals.
We are impressed with Fried’s determination to help revitalize the struggling agriculture industry in Florida by advocating for legislation to allow the growing of industrial hemp (currently authorized as a pilot program); support Florida farmers still recovering from Hurricane Irma and citrus greening; and ensure that industry concerns are properly balanced with environmental and consumer protections.
Fried was born and raised in Miami, attended Miami Palmetto High School, and graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s, a master’s degree, and a law degree. At UF, she was a member of Delta Phi Epsilon and served as the sorority’s treasurer, recruitment chair, member-at-large, and chapter advisor.
Fried also served as student body president, the first woman to hold the position in nearly two-decades prior. She worked for the Alachua County Public Defender’s office after law school, where she was the head of the Felony Division. In private practice, Fried defended homeowners against foreclosure during the 2007-2008 housing crisis. She currently resides in Ft. Lauderdale.
Fried understands that the issuance of concealed weapons permits is one of one of the most important duties of the Commissioner of Agriculture. On day one, she says will initiate a wholesale audit of the CWP department to determine where and why it is failing the people of Florida – and it’s about time.
We are also impressed with her unclouded understanding that sea-level rise is clearly caused by climate change – and how it is already hurting Florida – her administration also will work to ensure that the state makes responsible choices to reduce our state’s carbon footprint.
Fried knowledge of the workings of the state politics was enhanced by her work with Igniting Florida, a one-woman lobbying shop she founded, named after her student government party at UF.
During her time lobbying in Tallahassee, she represented Florida’s Children First’s lobbying team, for which she helped pass a bill that provided $4.5 million in legal aid to disabled dependent children in the state.
While she has never having worked in the agriculture business, Fried says you don’t have to be a farmer to be a commissioner. We agree. And so, for Florida State Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Community Newspapers recommends Nikki Fried.