Rep. Val Demings to challenge Marco Rubio for Senate seat, NBC News reports

Former Orlando police chief will take on Republican incumbent in 2022, Democrat with knowledge of situation says
Val Demings in July 2020
Posted at 10:42 AM, May 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-18 10:52:46-04

ORLANDO, Fla. — U.S. Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., intends to challenge Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., for his seat in 2022, NBC News reported Tuesday.

"Val is an impressive and formidable candidate whose potential entrance would make the race against Rubio highly competitive," a national Democrat with knowledge of the situation told NBC News.

Demings, who was rumored to have been considering a gubernatorial run, hinted last month that she was considering running for Senate.

Marco Rubio in April 2021
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks during a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation confirmation hearing, Wednesday, April 21, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

"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," she said during a CNBC interview in April.

Demings currently represents Florida's 10th congressional district in the Orlando area. The 64-year-old former Orlando police chief grew up in Jacksonville and graduated from Florida State University with a degree in criminology. She is married to Jerry Demings, who is the mayor of Orange County.

Her plans were first reported by Politico.

Rubio has not commented.