Democratic Rep. Val Demings of Florida announced Wednesday that she’s running for Senate in a bid to unseat two-term Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.
“I’ve never tired of representing Florida ― not for one single moment,” Demings said in a video posted to Twitter, adding, “My mother told me when someone gives you the opportunity to do something big, do not disappoint them. I’m running for the United States Senate because of two simple words: Never tire.”
Her announcement comes about two weeks after her advisers confirmed that she planned to run.
In the three-minute video, Demings discussed the obstacles she faced growing up “poor, Black and female” in Jacksonville, as well as her ascension from Orlando police officer to the department’s first Black female police chief.
Demings, 64, was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2016 to represent Florida’s 10th Congressional District, which includes a large portion of Orlando. She gained national attention last year for her role in then-President Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, in which she served on the House panel that charged him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Rubio voted to acquit Trump during both of his impeachment trials.
“Along the way, we brought law and order to a lawless president,” Demings said in the video announcing her campaign.
“Unlike some in Washington, I never tire for standing up for what I believe is right, because no one is above the law,” she continued as photos of Rubio appeared in the video. “But it turns out there are some in Washington who prefer the same old, tired ways of doing business.”
Demings had been weighing whether to enter the state’s gubernatorial race, but ultimately decided she could be most effective in the Senate, Politico reported in May, citing Democrats familiar with her thinking.
“What makes her special, aside from being a Black woman when both are all the rage, is her impeachment role,” Mac Stipanovich, who was a Republican consultant in Florida for decades but turned from the party because of Trump, told HuffPost last month. “That is what gives her national chops. She grappled with the dragon in defense of democracy.”