Val Demings challenging Marco Rubio in his Senate reelection bid

U.S. Rep. Val Demings is challenging U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in next year's midterms. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)
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U.S. Rep. Val Demings is challenging U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in next year's midterms. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)

Credit: TNS

U.S. Rep. Val Demings, who was one of her party’s House impeachment managers in their first of two failed attempts to remove Donald Trump from the Oval Office, is challenging Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in his reelection bid next year.

Demings has decided to challenge Rubio, Politico says, rather than Gov. Ron DeSantis. Rubio ran for the presidency in 2016 and has been mentioned as a possible White House candidate again.

Demings, 64, has been in Congress since 2017, representing the Sunshine State’s 10th District, which includes Orlando. Demings is a retired law enforcement officer who served as chief of the Orlando Police Department, the first woman to hold the position.

Demings was one of seven Democratic prosecutors in President Trump’s first impeachment trial last year and was the only non-lawyer among the group. She was also one of the few House impeachment managers who did not hail from New York or California.

After two years as a social worker, Demings joined the Orlando Police Department in 1983, where she rose through the ranks and in 2007 became the city’s first Black female police chief.

She retired from the police force in 2011 before unsuccessfully running for Congress in 2012 and Orange County mayor in 2014.

Her rising national prominence during the impeachment trial led to speculation she was being considered as Joe Biden’s running mate, a slot that eventually went to Kamala Harris.

The Orlando Democratic lawmaker spent the last few months mulling over a statewide race and decided on a bid for the Senate, an anonymous source told CNN.

In considering a Senate campaign, she avoids what could be a divisive primary and gives Democrats a well-known name to compete in a state where elections are often decided by a narrow margin.