SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — A state politician made a stop in Walton County earlier today to talk about her campaign for Florida Governor and cleared the air on an ethics complaint filed against her earlier this month.
Commissioner of Agriculture, Nikki Fried, made a stop in Walton County on Thursday. Initially, she spoke about the importance of prescribed fire. She also took the time to address the 2022 Gubernatorial Race in Florida.
Fried said if she wins the governor’s race, she’ll focus on a number of items including improving the quality of life for Floridians.
“Making sure that we’re building new industries here in the state whether that’s bringing the film industry back here, enhancing our Space Coast, really trying to find ways to build up the economic structure of our state including affordable housing, infrastructure,” Fried said.
She also said she wants to expand Medicaid.
“We understand especially in areas like up here in the Panhandle that so many of our rural hospitals are suffering and so many people are hurting,” Fried said.
Fried also said she isn’t discouraged by poll numbers or the recent republican upset in the Virginia governor’s race.
“We have to take the lessons we learned in Virginia that recycled candidates don’t work,” Fried said. “That people want new visions, new perspectives, and so we fundamentally believe that we’ve got the right mission for our state, that we’ve got the right vision and we’ve got the right strategy.”
She’s also dealing with an ethics complaint filed on December 8. The complaint alleges she failed to report $300,000 in income in 2017 and 2018.
“The reality of the situation is this, you’ve got an ethics commission that is appointed by my opponents so there is no way that there’s going to be a fair shake in any of these types of hearings,” Fried said. “We fixed paperwork. That was literally the extent of it and so now they keep going on a tangent but again – we feel very confident everything was done properly, I was transparent, and unfortunately, politics is going to rear its ugly head and trying to make something that was unfortunately once again, fixing some paperwork.”
Fried is not alone in the democratic primary. Polls show former Governor and current congressman, Charlie Crist, is the apparent front-runner.
State Senator, Annette Taddeo, also jumped into the race in October.