Fried Holds on as Florida's Lone Statewide Elected Democrat
Former medical-marijuana lobbyist Nikki Fried is on the verge of being the only Florida Democrat to capture a statewide win, gaining votes over Republican state Rep. Matt Caldwell in the race for agriculture commissioner after a manual recount was completed Sunday.
The manual recount also had no effect on the outcome of three razor-thin legislative races, in which Democrat Janet Cruz flipped a state Senate seat and House Republicans picked up one seat and held onto another.
Fried’s lead over Caldwell in the Cabinet race peaked at 6,753 votes on Sunday, adding 1,446 votes to her machine-recount total, according to results posted on the state Division of Elections website.
Fried, a lawyer from Fort Lauderdale, has repeatedly claimed victory in the race, but Caldwell’s campaign wasn’t ready to concede after the bulk of the manual recount results were provided to the state Sunday.
The Republican’s campaign previously had sued the Broward County elections office and, on Sunday, continued to explore how heavily Democratic Broward and Palm Beach counties handled the recount.
In again declaring victory as the first woman to be elected Florida agriculture commissioner, the 40-year-old Fried said she intends to represent all Floridians.
“You chose a new vision,