Democratic Rep. Val Demings announced she’s running for US Senate in 2022 in a move to unseat incumbent GOP Sen. Marco Rubio.
A former Orlando police chief, Demings was first elected to Congress in 2016. She became a household name as one of the Democratic House impeachment managers leading the charge against former President Donald Trump during his first impeachment trial.
With Florida being a Republican-led state, Democrats would need a popular, high-ranking party member to stand a chance of unseating Rubio. Demings is well respected and was one of the names being tossed around as a potential running-mate for then-president-elect Joe Biden before Biden tapped Kamala Harris.
The Democrats hold their primary in August.
“When you grow up in the South poor, Black and female, you have to have faith in progress and opportunity. My father was a janitor, and my mother was a maid — she said: ‘Never tire of doing good, never tire,” Demings said. “I’ve never tired of representing Florida, not for one single moment. I’ve never tired of standing up for what I believe is right. Now I’m running for the United States Senate because of two simple words: never tire.”
Rubio wasted no time digging into his fresh opponent.
In a statement Wednesday, Rubio criticized Demings, saying she “has no record of results for Florida” and that she “has voted with Nancy Pelosi nearly 100% of the time” in Congress.
He also accuses Demings of being a socialist.
“None of them will admit to being a socialist,” Rubio said. “She probably won’t. But she certainly has voted for socialist things.”