Skip to content

Val Demings takes on Marco Rubio for Senate seat in Florida

Rep. Val Demings, smiling in red while wearing pearls. (304751)
Rep. Val Demings, smiling in red while wearing pearls. Credit: The Office of U.S. Representative Val Demings

Democratic Rep. Val Demings of Florida plans to run for the U.S. Senate in a bid to unseat Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who is up for reelection in 2022, Politico and NBC News first reported Tuesday.

An adviser to Demings confirmed to Huffington Post that she is planning a Senate bid and would make a formal announcement shortly.

Demings, 64, had been weighing whether to enter the state’s gubernatorial race, but ultimately decided she could be most effective in the Senate. The congresswoman told MSNBC last month that she was “seriously considering” jumping into a race but wouldn’t say whether she was seeking the governorship or a seat in the Senate.

“I have received calls and texts and messages from people all over the sate asking me to run because they feel that they are not represented and their voices are not heard,” Demings said. “And I believe that every Floridian deserves to have representation regardless of the color their skin, where they live, how much money they have in the bank, their sexual orientation or their religion.”

Democrats have been angling for a way to win over Rubio’s seat, but have struggled to find someone they think could take on the two-term senator.

Demings was first elected to the House in 2016 to represent Florida’s 10th Congressional District, which includes a large portion of Orlando. She was previously the city’s chief of police ― the first Black woman to hold that position. She gained national attention last year for her role in then-President Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, in which she served on the House panel that charged him with misconduct.