Florida Politics by Renzo Downey
December 5, 2019
Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) leaders say Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried ignored the law when she abstained on a Monday Cabinet vote.
Fried’s holdout was the latest in her continued protest over what she characterizes as a lack of transparency in the effort to hire the new Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) Commissioner. On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis and the two Republican Cabinet members approved the appointment of securities lawyer Russell Weigel.
“Nikki Fried plays politics when she abstains from legally required Cabinet votes,” RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters said in a Wednesday statement. “Voters trusted her to be a state leader, not run away from tough decisions.”
The party bases its claim on Section 286.012 of the Florida Statutes, which says state officials “may not abstain from voting” unless there is a conflict of interest. But Fried’s office responded in kind, citing Section 20.121(3)(d), which only specifies that three affirmative votes are necessary to approve an OFR Commissioner.