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To Iowa — A Letter from Nikki Fried, Florida Democratic Party

Dear Iowa, 

Before the caucus tonight, I feel a responsibility to pass along some information about the Florida Men running for President — especially my former colleague, Governor Ron DeSantis.

As Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture from 2019 to 2023 — and as the only elected Democrat on the Florida Cabinet — I had a front row seat to Ron’s failures as a leader.

Florida’s affordability crisis is out of control — inflation here is nearly double the national average, our property insurance rates have skyrocketed by over 400%, and rent prices are spiraling out of control. Ron could be putting forward policies that help keep money in people’s pockets, but when he laid out his priorities at his State of the State speech last week, he didn’t mention a single one. 

Ron has also consistently made it harder for Floridians to get good, affordable healthcare — just last year, over 350,000 Florida children lost their healthcare under policies championed by his administration, and his opposition to Medicaid expansion is keeping millions of people from benefiting from policies their taxes already pay for. 

And don’t let him fool you when he says he cares about America’s farmers — he’s ignored the needs of Florida’s farmers by passing bills that decimated their workforce and refusing $100 million in federal funding to protect and conserve farmland. Every farmer I’ve ever talked to would rather he spend less time on made up culture wars and more time protecting their industry.

I’m a lifelong Democrat, but I was raised by a Republican — and I remember what the Republican Party used to stand for. As leaders in today’s GOP, Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis have warped the party platform beyond recognition. The party that once valued small government and fiscal responsibility is now obsessed with inserting the government into private medical decisions and giving ridiculous tax cuts to the ultra-wealthy. Under Ron’s leadership, Florida Republicans have made a mockery of the Bill of Rights and passed the largest budgets in state history.

Ultimately, I believe the best choice for Iowans, Floridians, and all Americans is to send Joe Biden and Kamala Harris back to the White House. In just three years, the Biden-Harris administration has lowered healthcare costs, invested in American infrastructure, and created millions of new jobs. They’ve fought to protect our right to make private decisions about our health care without interference from the government, and they’re committed to safeguarding democracy from extremism. For all of our sakes, we must give them a chance to finish the job and continue delivering results for the American people.

Take it from a Floridian — our country can’t afford another four years of Donald Trump, but Ron DeSantis isn’t the answer either. A Trump or DeSantis presidency would be an absolute disaster for our pockets and our freedoms. They’ve already failed Florida — don’t give them a chance to fail America too.

Nikki Fried
Florida Democratic Party

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