“It turns out there are some in Washington who prefer the same old tired ways of doing business,” Demings says in the video, alluding to Rubio, who has Trump’s support.
The video also includes a clip of former New Jersey governor Chris Christie (R) criticizing Rubio during a 2016 Republican presidential debate for what he characterizes as a canned answer. “That’s what Washington, D.C., does,” Christie says, pointing at his fellow GOP contender.
Demings had indicated her interest in running for statewide office in 2022, but until recently had been undecided whether to run against Rubio or Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
She becomes the highest-profile Democrat seeking to take on Rubio, and if she wins the party primary, she is expected to be a formidable opponent against the incumbent.
In a statement following Demings’s announcement, Rubio campaign manager Mark Morgan touted Rubio as having “consistently delivered for Florida families.”
“Marco’s contrast with Val Demings could not be greater because she has no record of results for Florida,” said Morgan, who sought to tie Demings to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
“Since coming to Washington, she has voted with Nancy Pelosi nearly 100% of the time,” Morgan said. “Florida deserves a Senator with a proven track record of fighting, and winning, for Florida families.”
The Florida Senate race is certain to receive national attention, given that Rubio is among the most recognizable Senate Republicans, and Democrats nationwide will be eager to defeat him. But Rubio won’t be easy to beat. Trump won Florida in 2020.
The Senate is split 50-50, with Democrats holding the majority on Vice President Harris’s tiebreaker. Retirements have created open Senate seats in Alabama, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania, setting up a fierce fight for majority control.
A potential candidate for the Florida Democratic nomination, Rep. Stephanie Murphy, announced last month that she was passing on a 2022 Senate bid and would focus on reelection to her House seat.
Demings first ran for Congress in 2012, but narrowly lost in the Republican-leaning district. But mid-decade redistricting made the seat considerably more Democratic, and when Demings ran again in 2016, she won with 65 percent of the vote. She ran unopposed in 2018.