Congresswoman Val Demings files paperwork in Tallahassee to challenge Republican U.S. Senator Marco Rubio. To fight gun massacres, she supports universal background checks, red flag laws, and raising the gun purchase age to 21.
BY SHANICE JONES, Contributor
TALLAHASSEE — Surrounded by family, friends, and clergy, Congresswoman Val Demings formally filed to run for the U.S. Senate. It seemed fitting that she addressed supporters in front of the RA Gray Building, the state museum. The historical relevancy of her candidacy is expected to motivate Black and women voters who are central to Democratic victories.
Demings, a former Orlando police chief, would own unrivaled political significance as Florida’s first Black U.S. Senator and the second woman elected to the office, the first being Paula Hawkins, a Republican.
Five months before election day, Deming’s opponent — Republican U.S. Senator Marco Rubio — is nowhere to be found on the campaign trail. It’s an opportunity for Demings to tell her story.
“We are living in the greatest country in the world, and I’m on a mission to make sure every man, woman, boy, and girl will have an opportunity to succeed. Service to the people of Florida is my priority.”
When asked about a Rubio law enforcement endorsement, Demings quipped, “This race is about him and me. As a law enforcement officer, I would put on a bulletproof vest and go out and serve every day.”
Adding to her contention that Rubio is soft on curbing gun violence, she said, “I don’t believe in playing with people’s lives. “
For months, Demings has outraised Rubio, which has caught the eye of national players. CNN ranks the Demings/Rubio match as among the 10 U.S. Senate races “likely to flip.”