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Demings Enters Race to Unseat Rubio

June 9, 2021 by Dan McCue
Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., asks questions during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on proposed changes to police practices and accountability on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP, File)

WASHINGTON – Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., made it official this morning, formally launching her Senate campaign to unseat incumbent Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.

“Unlike some in Washington, I never tire of standing up for what I believe is right, because no one is above the law,” Demings, a former Orlando police chief, said in a video announcement of her candidacy.

“But it turns out, there are some here in Washington who prefer the same old tired ways of doing business.”

Deming’s future has been a subject of speculation for months, with media reports saying she was alternately considering a Senate bid or running for Florida governor.

She was among the women President Joe Biden considered on his short list of running mates before selecting Kamala Harris, and she served as one of the House impeachment managers during former President Donald Trump’s second Senate trial in February.

Despite her high profile in Democratic circles, the race against Rubio is seen as a tough one for any Democrat.

In 2020, Trump won the state for a second time, and two Democrats who had flipped congressional districts in the Miami area in 2018, went down to defeat to GOP challengers two years later.

Still, as her announcement illustrated, as she enters the race, Demings seems particularly well suited to stand up to a Republican platform that is expected to lean heavily on law and order issues.

On Wednesday, Demings put her law enforcement experience front and center in her announcement, noting, among other things, that Orlando’s rate of violent crime declined during her tenure as chief of police.

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