WASHINGTON — Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., made her Senate bid official Wednesday, announcing that she plans to challenge Republican Marco Rubio for his seat next year.
Demings made the announcement in a three-minute video in which she shared her story serving in Orlando’s police department, where she worked her way up to serving as its first female chief of police.
“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 in the clip.
“I’ve never tired of standing up for what I believe is right," she continued. "Now I’m running for the United States Senate because of two simple words: never tire.”
In a statement Wednesday, Rubio bashed Demings, saying she “has no record of results for Florida” and “has voted with Nancy Pelosi nearly 100% of the time” in Congress.
“She supported efforts to defund the police, opposed tax relief for working families, and led the effort to put Washington in charge of Florida’s elections,” Rubio said. “Florida deserves a senator with a proven track record of fighting, and winning, for Florida families.”
NBC News reported in May that Demings planned to run for Senate in 2022 after previously hinting that she wanted to enter the race.
Demings has served in the House since 2017, and her husband is the mayor of Orange County, Florida. From 2007 to 2011, Demings worked as chief of Orlando’s police department.
She received national attention last year when she served as an impeachment manager in the first Senate trial of President Donald Trump over his efforts to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations into Joe Biden and his son Hunter.