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Val Demings plans to challenge Marco Rubio in US Senate race in Florida

Val Demings
Posted at 7:37 AM, May 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-18 10:41:25-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Val Demings is planning to challenge Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, giving Democrats a boost in a competitive 2022 race that could decide control of the Senate.

That's according to two people with knowledge of the plans, who spoke with The Associated Press.

Demings gained national recognition as a House prosecutor in President Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial and had been considering a run for governor in Florida.

The congresswoman was also considered a leading contender to be Joe Biden’s running mate in the 2020 presidential race.

In considering a Senate campaign instead, she avoids what could be a divisive primary and gives Democrats a well-known name to compete in a state where elections are often decided by a narrow margin.

Rubio isn't considered a vulnerable opponent. He was first elected in 2010 and easily won reelection in 2016. The state has also been trending in favor of the Republican Party in recent elections.

Demings' plans were first reported by Politico.