WASHINGTON — Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., plans to challenge Republican Sen. Marco Rubio in 2022, according to a national Democrat with knowledge of the party’s strategy on the Senate seat.
“Val is an impressive and formidable candidate whose potential entrance would make the race against Rubio highly competitive,” the Democrat said.
Demings has hinted at entering the Senate race, telling MSNBC anchor Jonathan Capehart in April that she was seriously considering a run.
“I have received calls and texts and messages from people all over the state asking me to run because they feel that they are not represented and their voices are not heard,” she said. “I want to go, Jonathan, to the position where I can do the most good. And be the most effective and do the most work. My home state of Florida deserves that.”
Demings' bid was first reported by Politico.
While other Democrats have declared their candidacies in the race, Demings is the most high-profile contender. Rubio is planning to run for re-election for the seat, which he has served in since 2011.
Demings has served in the House since 2017, and her husband is currently the mayor of Orange County, Florida. Between 2007 and 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 former President Donald Trump over his efforts to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations into Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Demings was also on Biden’s vice presidential shortlist last year, but he ultimately chose Kamala Harris as his running mate.