U.S. Representative Val Demings plans to challenge Marco Rubio for his seat in the Senate, according to a new report from Politico.
Demings, the former police chief of the Orlando Police Department, has served as the representative of the Florida's 10th District since 2017. Demings has been mulled as a potential Democratic candidate to challenge Governor Ron DeSantis. However, insiders say she opted to run against Rubio as way to "do the most good."
“I would’ve supported her running for governor, but this is the right fit for her and for us,” former gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink told Politico. “She’s going to draw a contrast between who she is and how she represents Florida vs. Marco Rubio, who a lot of people where I live never see him.”An unnamed Demings adviser said the drive to seek statewide office and remain in Congress came after the congresswoman saw Republican obstruction on coronavirus measures.
"If I had to point to one thing, I think it's the Covid bill and the way Republicans voted against it for no good reason,” the adviser said. “That really helped push her over the edge. She also had this huge fight with [Ohio Republican Rep.] Jim Jordan and it brought that into focus. This fight is in Washington and it’s the right fight for her to continue.”
Demings has not outright confirmed her plans to run for the Senate. However, she shared in a recent interview with The 19th that she was mulling her options.
"We have two very critical needs in the Senate and in the governor’s mansion," she said. "And so, you know, I am considering it, and I will be making my decision really soon."
After that interview was published, she lobbed a direct shot at Rubio on Twitter with the caption "Florida can do better."
Leadership matters. Florida can do better. https://t.co/HdYbzHeEWi— Val Demings (@valdemings) May 14, 2021
This article first appeared at our sister publication Orlando Weekly.
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