Democratic Rep. Val Demings of Florida plans to run for the U.S. Senate in a bid to unseat Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who is up for reelection in 2022, Politico and NBC News first reported Tuesday morning.
An adviser to Demings confirmed to HuffPost that she is planning a Senate bid and would make a formal announcement shortly.
Later on Tuesday, Demings tweeted that she was “humbled at the encouraging messages” she’s received about her potential run but stopped short of announcing her campaign.
“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,” she continued. “Stay tuned.”
Demings, 64, had been weighing whether to enter the state’s gubernatorial race, but ultimately decided she could be most effective in the Senate, Politico reported, citing Democrats who are familiar with her thinking.
The congresswoman told MSNBC last month that she was “seriously considering” jumping into a race but wouldn’t say whether she was seeking the governorship or a seat in the Senate.
“I have received calls and texts and messages from people all over the state asking me to run because they feel that they are not represented and their voices are not heard,” Demings said at the time. “And I believe that every Floridian deserves to have representation regardless of the color of their skin, where they live, how much money they have in the bank, their sexual orientation or their religion.”
Democrats have been angling for a way to win over Rubio’s seat, but have struggled to find someone they think could take on the two-term senator.
Demings was first elected to the House in 2016 to represent Florida’s 10th Congressional District, which includes a large portion of Orlando. She was previously the city’s chief of police ― the first Black woman to hold that position. 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 misconduct.
Earlier this month, Rep. Charlie Crist of Florida, who was once governor of the state, became the first Democrat to announce a bid against Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2022.