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Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) announced on Wednesday that she is entering the race to unseat Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).
Demings, 64, is serving her third term representing Florida’s 10th Congressional District. Before entering politics, she worked for the Orlando Police Department, becoming 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,” Demings said in a video released Wednesday. “My father was a janitor and my mother was a maid. She said, ‘Never tire of doing good, never tire.’ I’ve never tired of standing up for what I believe is right. Now I’m running for the United States Senate because of two simple words: ‘never tire.'”
Demings entered the national spotlight during former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, when she served as one of the House managers. Over the last several months, Demings was going back and forth between running for Senate or entering the gubernatorial race, and a person close to Demings told ABC News she wants to unseat Rubio due to frustration over Senate Republicans obstructing important legislation. GOP opposition to President Biden’s COVID-19 relief package “pushed her over the edge,” the person said.
Demings got a few digs in against Rubio in her video. “Unlike some in Washington, I never tire of standing up for what I believe is right, because no one is above the law,” she said. “But it turns out, there are some in Washington who prefer the same old tired ways of doing business. Too tired to fight big efforts to suppress the people’s vote, they fall back to tired talking points and backward solutions.”
Rubio is seeking a third term in office. In a statement Wednesday, his campaign manager said Rubio “has consistently delivered for Florida families” and the state “deserves a senator with a proven track record of fighting, and winning, for Florida families.”