Report: 'Big-name' Democrat to Challenge Rubio in 2022 Senate Race

Posted: May 18, 2021 8:50 AM
Report: 'Big-name' Democrat to Challenge Rubio in 2022 Senate Race

Source: Al Drago/Pool via AP

Florida Rep. Val Demings reportedly plans to run for U.S. Senate, challenging Sen. Marco Rubio, according to reports.  

Rather than run for governor, which she had considered, she “decided she could do the most good by taking on the two-term senator," Politico reports.

The adviser said that Demings, who has grown increasingly critical of GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, ultimately became more frustrated with Senate Republicans under Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and their “obstruction.”

 “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.”

The adviser left some wiggle room for Demings to change course, saying there was a “98.6 percent chance” that she would ultimately challenge Rubio. By running for Senate, Demings leaves the gubernatorial field to Rep. Charlie Crist and state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who is expected to announce a bid soon. [...]

Demings’ plans could put her on a crash course with three other Orlando-area Democrats: Rep. Stephanie Murphy, former Rep. Alan Grayson and former prosecutor Aramis Ayala. (Politico)

First elected to the House in 2016, Demings previously served as Orlando’s first black female police chief, helping her become a leading candidate to be President Biden’s running mate.

While that background made her an ideal Democrat voice on police reform and race issues, an earlier Politico report found “widespread dissatisfaction with her responses to incidents of brutality during,” during her tenure.

A final decision by Demings could come as soon as June.