Rep. Val Demings of Florida, is considering throwing her hat in the ring for Republican Sen. Marco Rubio's U.S. Senate seat next year instead of launching an expected bid for governor of the state. Her name was trending through much of the morning on Tuesday after Politico reported on the prospect of Demings running. “I'm humbled at the encouraging messages I'm seeing today,” she tweeted. “I know the stakes are too high for Republicans to stand in the way of getting things done for Floridians, which is why I'm seriously considering a run for the Senate. Stay tuned.”
Alex Sink, a former chief financial officer who unsuccessfully ran against former Florida governor and now-Sen. Rick Scott, told Politico he would’ve supported her bid for governor “but this is the right fit for her and for us.”
Rubio voted to protect former President Donald Trump when he was facing his second impeachment trial for inciting a riot at the U.S. Capitol in January. A month earlier, the Florida Republican helped himself to a COVID-19 vaccination in short supply in his state at the time. “She’s going to draw a contrast between who she is and how she represents Florida vs. Marco Rubio, who a lot of people where I live never see him,” Sink said.
on Tuesday: “This is my Twitter account as Representative for the People of Florida’s 10th District. For my campaign Twitter, see
@val_demings.” On her campaign account, she had pinned a video in early May of her running for a seat in Congress and highlighted Rubio’s disappointing history as a senator.
“A great example of a flip-flopper,” Demings called Rubio on Friday then defined the phrase as ”when a Senator says that the former President ‘would shatter the party and the conservative movement’ and then raves he ‘was lucky enough to be one of his first posts’ in a fundraising email.”
”Leadership matters. Florida can do better,” Demings tweeted. She would be undeniably better.
Demings, a former Orlando police chief and the first woman to hold the title, was a House manager in Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, and she has been an important voice in seeking accountability for the former president for his embarrassing response to the coronavirus pandemic. "At the very least, we ought to be able to have a leader that we can trust,” she told MSNBC last May. “We don’t have that right now.” Demings said at a point she was no longer able to “endure or bear” Trump’s daily coronavirus briefings because the words coming out of his mouth have been “unbelievable.” She said they “risk lives all over this country.”
"No one—the president or the governor here in Florida—should be taking a victory lap when people are continuing to lose their lives because of COVID-19,” Demings said.
She’s been just as outspoken about a movement that spread like wildfire to save Black lives following the death of George Floyd, who was unarmed when former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. "I believe that what Derek Chauvin did was brutal, it was senseless, and it was murder," she told the nonprofit website The 19th earlier this month. "We had no choice but to try to look at what we could do as a legislative body to make the system better and prevent tragedies like that from happening.”
Almost a year earlier, Demings voiced support for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and urged her fellow legislators to do the same. The legislation, which the House passed but Senate Republicans have stalled, would ban no-knock warrants, chokeholds, and racial and religious profiling as well as establish a national database to monitor police misconduct. “As members of Congress, our primary responsibility is the health, safety, and well-being of the American people," Demings said last June. "We have made progress. We've come a long way, but we still have a ways to go."
Demings spoke just as passionately when she attempted to prevent the GOP from holding hostage the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, a bipartisan effort aimed at discouraging hate crimes against Asian Americans in the wake of a deadly shooting at an Atlanta spa in March. Republicans tried to randomly tie the Hate Crimes Act to an amendment preventing police department defunding efforts. "I want to make it quite clear that this amendment is completely irrelevant," Demings said at a House Judiciary hearing in April. The Hate Crimes Act, which the Senate passed, is expected to pass the House soon despite Republican Rep. Jim Jordan trying repeatedly to derail the process and disrespect Demings in the process.
"I served as a law enforcement officer for 27 years,” Demings told her peers. “It is a tough job. And good police officers deserve your support.
“You know, it's interesting to see my colleagues on the other side of the aisle support the police when it is politically convenient to do so,” the Democrat added. “Law enforcement officers risk their lives every day. They deserve better, and the American people deserve ..."
Jordan tried to interrupt Demings, but she continued. “I have the floor Mr. Jordan. What? Did I strike a nerve?” the congresswoman asked. “Law enforcement officers deserve better than to be utilized as pawns.”
Demings instead of Rubio should be an easy decision for Floridians should the mother of three decide to run for his seat. Take a look at what Twitter users have to say about the prospect:
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