Democratic Rep. Val Demings of Florida is giving serious thought to challenging either Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis next year or taking on Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.
Demings was Orlando’s police chief from 2007 through 2011, and has been in the House since 2017. She was publicly announced as among the non-white women on President Joe Biden’s shortlist of potential vice presidential candidates.
Her political profile among Democrats was also boosted by serving as a House impeachment manager. And now, she says, she might take her political ambitions up a notch.
“I’ve received so many calls and texts and emails, and have been stopped when I’m out and about by people who are asking me that very same question. Matter of fact, they think I should run for statewide office and maybe challenge the governor, or challenge Sen. Rubio next year,” she said, according to Politico.
“I’m seriously considering a statewide run. And we’ll see what happens,” she said.
She voiced similar thoughts in a statement to The Hill.
“I am strongly considering a statewide race and grateful for the countless messages of support and encouragement that I have received from people in every part of Florida,” Demings said in the statement.
Sources Politico called “those familiar with her thinking” indicated Demings might lean toward taking on DeSantis, citing a recent law DeSantis signed that is designed to limit rioting in the state.
A Florida Democratic pollster said Demings, who got into a shouting match recently with Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio when Jordan wanted to insert language into a bill that would ban defunding the police, is ready for prime time.
“Val Demings has proven she can stand on the national stage, whether it’s as a House impeachment manager or a possible running mate for Biden or taking on Jim Jordan,” said Fernand Amandi.
He said Deming’s career in law enforcement means she could not be portrayed as a “radical socialist.”
Police work is tough. I am hoping that every man and woman who is wearing the uniform will take this opportunity to reset, and be reminded that their oath is to the Constitution, and their commitment is to the communities they serve.
— Rep. Val Demings (@RepValDemings) April 23, 2021
However, her law enforcement background was also cited as a possible negative in the vice-presidential sweepstakes given the Democratic agenda concerning the police.
Jockeying is already underway among Florida Democrats positioning themselves for 2022.
Early takes on the 2022 Florida Gubernatorial Race.
Looks like Democrats could have lining up
Ag Commish Nikki Fried
Rep. Charlie Crist (former -R- FL Governor)
Rep. Val Demings
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has raised $9M since January for his reelection bid. https://t.co/YiC4UShMPk
— Greg Angel (@NewsGuyGreg) April 23, 2021
State Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and former Democratic Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, currently serving as a congressman are making noises about taking on DeSantis.
Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy is considering a challenge against Rubio, according to The Hill.
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