Marco Rubio Gets a High-Profile Challenger

Val Demings enters Florida Senate race
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2021 2:10 PM CDT
Marco Rubio Gets a High-Profile Challenger
In this April 14, 2021 photo, Sen. Marco Rubio speaks during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (Saul Loeb/Pool via AP)

No Republican senator from Florida has ever been elected to a third term—and Rep. Val Demings is going to try to stop Sen. Marco Rubio becoming the first in the 2022 election. The Democrat officially launched her campaign Wednesday, tweeting a video in which she criticized the "same old tired ways of doing business" in Washington and shared her story of working her way up to become Orlando's first female police chief, NBC reports. "When you grow up in the South poor, Black, and female, you have to have faith in progress and opportunity," she said. "My father was a janitor and my mother was a maid. She said, ‘Never tire of doing good, never tire.'"

Demings, who was first elected to the House in 2017, said she is running for the Senate "because of two simple words: Never tire." Demings, who was on the shortlist for President's Biden running mate, isn't the first Democrat to enter the race, but she has the most star power, the Hill reports. Rubio slammed Demings in a statement Wednesday, saying she has "no record of results for Florida." No matter who wins the Democratic primary, "my opponent will be a far left extremist," he tweeted. (Read more Val Demings stories.)

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