Nikki Fried is the highest-ranked Democratic public official in the state of Florida, and she thinks that gives her a good shot at the governor’s mansion. However, if she wants that, picking a fight over preemption may not be the smartest move she can make.
And yet, that seems to be the very fight she wants.
Another ‘Big Gun’ showdown at the ‘OK Corral’ in Tallahassee between the anti-Gun lobby and Second Amendment supporters could be just around the corner as Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, Rep. Dan Daley (D), and other stakeholders, have asked the Florida Supreme Court to hear the recently overturned legal case of the state’s firearm preemption law Gov. Ron DeSantis signed in 2019.
The law was challenged and defeated in a lower court, but that ruling was overturned by Florida’s First District Court of Appeals earlier this year.
Now Fried and company feel that the DeSantis-picked Supreme Court will reverse the Appellate court’s decision, as she calls the law “undemocratic” and that local leaders needed to be able to protect their citizens from the ongoing gun violence “crisis.”
“Florida has unfortunately seen gun violence up close and personal. Enough is enough. We need common-sense action like background checks, which we’ve done at my department, and it’s something we can easily work on together,” stated Fried. “It is time for the state to let local leaders do their jobs to keep our communities safe so we can stop this bleeding together.”
Note that the Supreme Court was picked by DeSantis, who is a fan of preemption. There’s a very good chance that the court will side with him on this issue.
So why is Fried picking this fight?
Well, probably because she’s lagging behind the former Gov. Charlie Crist, a one-time Republican, in the polls by double digits and has damn near since the beginning. Since she’s not running for reelection in her current office, she has to do anything she can to get votes. Fried apparently thinks she can do that by shifting to the left.
It’s not likely to work, but she’s welcome to try.
The truth of the matter is that Fried only won office because she was running against a scandal-ridden Republican and then only won by about 6,500 votes. That’s right, in a race where people could choose between someone they thought was a scumbag and Fried, almost half voted for the scumbag.
Her shot at the governorship is a long shot at best, but because she’s the highest-ranked elected official the Democratic Party has in a state office, she’s got a better one than she probably should have. Why roll left if she wants to win?
Probably because she had to win the primary first, and she doesn’t have much of a chance of that as things currently stand. By establishing her leftist credentials, she gives the progressive wing of the party someone to rally behind. Those are voters who aren’t likely to trust Crist with his GOP background.
Will it be enough? Who knows?
What I do know is that stuff like this, lashing out at preemption, isn’t going to win her many friends in gun-friendly Florida and that’s going to hurt her in the general election. Assuming, of course, she survives Crist.