It appears that Nikki Fried, the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, who is also running to challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) in November, is rather hungry for attention. This bizarre week she's had would certainly suggest that. On Thursday, both DeSantis and Fried held events, and they could hardly be more different in attendance, as pictures show.
She Chickened out. I'm guessing the protesters freaked her out.— T???????? (@Floridagirl0850) April 14, 2022
Ultimately, Fried canceled her other campaign events for the day, after they were not only so poorly attended, but protesters caused the other events to be canceled. At least that was the reason given according to a report from WEAR, a local ABC outlet.
"Due to anticipated protests and demonstrators, the event at 2 p.m. has been canceled due to the concern for the candidate's safety," the Santa Rosa County Democratic Executive Committee said.
UPDATE: After the excitement of the rally earlier, she canceled the rest of her campaign stops today pic.twitter.com/9lbiXsk3X0— Christina Pushaw ???? (@ChristinaPushaw) April 14, 2022
Many reacted over Twitter by questioning whether the protesters even existed, or suggesting they outweighed those attending the event.
Let's recap @NikkiFried's week:— RBe (@RBPundit) April 15, 2022
First, maybe 15 people showed up at an event for her. So... second, she canceled another event (because no one was showing up but the press) and blamed it on "protesters" who didn't exist.
Caps off the week by denying a rumor no one heard about.
The protesters outweighed the supporters so she couldn’t face the humiliation— ??Where’s Hunter?? (@NotListeningFJB) April 15, 2022
On Friday, Fried then tweeted that she had not appeared in a sex tape, not naming who had accused her of having one.
With event turnout like this I’m sure that any publicity from your team is welcome. pic.twitter.com/ay0jzBy5FJ— Robert Books (@booksy78) April 15, 2022
The comments are like “If DeSantis is putting out a sex tape rumor, that means they’re concerned!” lmaooooooooo— Ben Morrissey ???? (@BenMorrissey16) April 15, 2022
No one accused her of having a sex tape.— Donny Ferguson (@DonnyFerguson) April 16, 2022
Her campaign has cratered so hard she's reduced to making up allegations against herself for attention.
Same person who started her campaign by embracing serial hoaxer and criminal Rebekah Jones. https://t.co/GUI8cW9xGF
In a Townhall column from February of last year, Brad Slagler summed Jones up:
...Since her rise to prominence, Jones has fallen out of favor as a valid voice. This past December her home was raided and evidence collected looking into whether she hacked a government messaging system to implore others to speak out about alleged corruption. In January she turned herself in to authorities, and now the announcement has been made that she is dropping the lawsuit she filed against the state for that December warrant being served.
In a column last May, Ann Coulter detailed the nuttery of Jones' list of claims and activities. Christina Pushaw, DeSantis' press secretary, also did so in writing for Human Events in February of last year.
As Charles C. Cooke wrote for National Review Online last July, Fried herself called Jones "valuable" and revealed she talked to her on "a pretty consistent basis."
Some have speculated that Jones hasn't taken too kindly to how Fried may have backed off from associating with Jones.
Rumor is that Nikki Fried has been giving Rebekah Jones the cold shoulder lately.— American Nordau (@MaxNordau) April 15, 2022
And Jones has been known to make up sex gossip about Florida politicians.
And Jones forced herself into a photo with Nikki Fried yesterday.
Did Jones create a rumor about a Nikki Fried sex tape? https://t.co/LDxBQDLiVF pic.twitter.com/F61yiwBXre
Jones is running against Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who represents Florida's 1st Congressional District.
Florida's primary is August 23. Fried has been performing dismally in the polls. As Guy covered in early February, she had 40 percent to DeSantis' 51 percent. Later that month, polling showed Fried with just 32 percent support compared to DeSantis' 55 percent support. More recent polling that Guy highlighted at the end of last month is even worse still, with Fried having 27 percent support to DeSantis' 51 percent.
The Nikki Fried campaign released the following statement in response to @CharlieCrist’s pro-life stance:— Nikki Fried (@NikkiFried) April 13, 2022
“Charlie would do well to sit back and let women lead, both when dealing with their own medical decisions, and in this primary.”
Full statement below. pic.twitter.com/zWIRpotD6d
Also this week, Fried also took to going after her fellow primary challenger, Rep. Charlie Crist, a Democrat who was also once an Independent and a Republican earlier in his career, for his previous and confusing stances on abortion. Gov. DeSantis, as Madeline highlighted, signed a 15-week abortion ban into law on Thursday.