Reports: Democrat Val Demings Walks Away from House, Will Seek to Challenge Rubio for Senate Instead

In this Dec. 11, 2019, file photo, Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., gives her opening statement during a House Judiciary Committee markup of the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington. Demings is among the women Joe Biden is considering for his vice presidential running mate. …
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) will enter the Democrat primary to challenge Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) for Florida’s Senate seat in 2022, multiple reports indicate.

Demings’s plan to walk away from the House Democrats is another blow to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s efforts to keep the majority in the upcoming midterm elections. While Demings’ Orlando-area district is safely Democrat, she is only the latest in a long line of veteran lawmakers to walk away from Pelosi and her slim majority ahead of the midterm elections.

Politico and NBC News confirmed Demings’s intention to enter the race Tuesday morning, apparently deciding to avoid a race against Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), who currently has an approval rating of 55 percent.

Democrats are excited about Demings’s decision. While in the House she served as an impeachment manager of former President Donald Trump. She previously served as Orlando’s police chief. Demings’s husband, Jerry Demings (D), is the Mayor of Orange County, which encases Orlando.

But before Demings can challenge Rubio, she must win the Democrat primary race. Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) surfaced Tuesday as a potential challenger to Demings.

Murphy, like Demings before today, faces a Florida State Republican-controlled redistricting effort this fall, potentially forcing her to seek higher office to avoid an intense contest for her seat.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) is also considering a bid for the Senate or Governorship.
Former Republican Governor, now-Democrat Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) has declared a gubernatorial challenge to DeSantis.


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