Florida's Children First

Calling for ‘heart,’ lobbyist Nikki Fried announces possible run for Governor

Lawyer-lobbyist Nicole “Nikki” Fried, who specializes in medical marijuana issues, says she might run for Governor this year after coming to the conclusion the current field of Democratic candidates “need(s) a heart transplant.”

“Florida Democrats are tired of losing and are looking for a new voice: Someone different, someone who isn’t afraid to speak the truth and is willing to turn the political status quo on its head,” she said in a statement to Florida Politics Sunday.

“Someone has to fight for the millions of Floridians—especially our children—who can’t afford a lobbyist or a trip to Tallahassee,” she said. “We need to bring back a strong offensive playbook to a state party that has been stuck playing prevent defense for decades.

“The current field of candidates are just not cutting it—we need a heart transplant. Based on the overwhelming amount of support and encouragement I have received, I am seriously considering running and bringing my drive, my vision, and my unapologetic voice to the field.”

Fried founded the lobbying shop Igniting Florida in 2016 after leaving the Colodny Fass firm. Current clients are Florida’s Children First, San Felasco Nurseries, and the School Board of Broward County, according to registration reports.

In 2014, she received an award from The Florida Bar’s Legal Needs of Children Committee “for her leadership of the Florida’s Children First lobbying team,” according to her bio. Fried also has served on the Bar’s Standing Committee on the Legal Needs of Children.

The 40-year-old received her undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Florida, where she was student body president, and Hall of Fame and Blue Key member. Fried then got a master’s degree in political campaigning and law degree also from UF.

Howard Talenfeld, chair and president of Florida’s Children First, first met Fried when they worked together at Colodny Fass.

“She absolutely has the commitment, concern, the knowledge of and connection to our youth and to children who are at risk,” he said. “I will say none of the candidates ever contacted us to ask what children need. She certainly was the first.”

Kelly Sullivan, a Jacksonville attorney who’s known Fried for the better part of two decades, called her “energetic, organized.”

“She has perseverance. She would be an excellent governor; she’s motivated, well spoken, and can marshal the energy to make a difference.”



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