As GOP Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) seeks to clinch a third term in the upper chamber in the upcoming midterm elections, another Florida Democrat has decided to throw their hat in the ring to unseat him.
According to The Hill, U.S. Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) has formally voiced her plans to run for Senate in 2022.
The announcement from Demings came in a video posted to her Twitter page on Wednesday.
“Unlike some in Washington, I never tired of standing up for what I believe is right, because no one is above the law,” Demings, a former cop, says in the clip, according to The Hill. “But it turns out, there are some in Washington who prefer the same old tired ways of doing business… I’m running for the United States Senate because of two simple words: Never tired.”
Demings eyes Rubio’s Senate seat
The announcement makes Demings the most well-known Democrat gunning for Rubio’s seat in the U.S. Senate, but it hardly comes as a shock, as The Hill notes.
The Florida Dem formerly served as police chief in Orlando, but gained notoriety as one of the House’s impeachment managers during Democrats’ second attempt to oust then-President Donald Trump from office. According to The Hill, she was also among the frontrunners to serve as Joe Biden’s 2020 running mate, a job that ultimately went to Kamala Harris.
“I’ve never tired of representing Florida,” Demings said in her announcement video Wednesday. “Not for one single moment.”
I’m running for U.S. Senate because I will never tire of standing up for what is right. Never tire of serving Florida. Never tire of doing good.
— Val Demings (@valdemings) June 9, 2021
A bitter fight in Florida
As Demings looks to earn a spot in the upper chamber, Rubio, for his part, is already fighting back against what may be his strongest challenger on the left.
“Look, I’ve always known that my opponent for the Senate was going to be a far left liberal Democrat,” the senator said after Demings’ announcement Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. “Today we just found out which one of them Chuck Schumer’s picked.”
In an appearance on Fox News the night before, Rubio again lambasted Demings’ “socialist” agenda. “None of them will admit to being a socialist. She probably won’t. But she certainly has voted for socialist things,” the Florida Republican said, as The Hill reported.
Demings reportedly responded by calling Rubio “desperate” and saying she doesn’t blame him “for being very concerned about me running for the United States Senate.” But while Demings may be more than confident in her ability to win over Florida voters, insiders there — including Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) — say the Sunshine State is quickly turning red. Only time will tell if it’s a trend she can overcome in 2022, or if Rubio will be able to add to a tenure in Congress’ upper chamber that’s spanned more than a decade so far.