Rep. Val Demings officially launched her campaign Wednesday to unseat Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and represent the Sunshine State in the U.S. Senate next year.
She announced her decision in a video, where she shared details of her life growing up in Jacksonville and touted her years of service in Orlando’s police department, where she eventually became 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.
The 64-year-old congresswoman is serving her third term in Florida's strongly held Democratic 10th district in west Orange County and has key positions on the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees.
She was also included on President Joe Biden’s shortlist of potential running mates last year before serving as one of the House impeachment managers during former President Donald Trump’s second Senate trial in February.
Rubio is seeking his third term in the U.S. Senate after winning his reelection in 2016 by 7 percentage points over Democrat Patrick Murphy.
In an interview with Fox News Tuesday, just hours before Demings announced her candidacy, Rubio went on the attack, claiming that she had aligned herself with her party’s far-left wing.
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“None of them will admit to being a socialist,” Rubio said. “She probably won’t. But she certainly has voted for socialist things.”
Demings has since denied those allegations.