Central Florida U.S. Representative Val Demings made her long-awaited jump into one of, if not the most high profile upcoming U.S. Senate races. After weeks of speculation of not if, but when her announcement would come, the now third term Democratic Congresswoman announced her candidacy via video Wednesday morning.

Demings began her career as a social worker before moving into law enforcement, working her way up the ranks to become Orlando, Florida’s first female Chief of Police. During her congressional career, Mrs. Demings served as one of the seven impeachment managers who argued the case against Donald Trump during his first impeachment trial in the Senate.
Last year, this Harley-driving wife and mother was on Joe Biden’s short list of potential running mates. In the campaign video, Demings told her story as one of seven children raised by her father, a janitor, and her mother, a maid. 

“When you grow up in the South, poor, Black and female, you have to have faith and progress and opportunity.”

She also stressed, “I’m running for the United States Senate because of two simple words: Never tired.”

“Unlike some in Washington, I never tired of standing up for what I believe is right, because no one is above the law,” Demings said. “But it turns out, there are some in Washington who prefer the same old tired ways of doing business.”

The reference was to her presumed general election opponent, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). Before facing Rubio in the general election, Demings may first have a primary contest. Democratic primary opponents may include former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson and Miami City Commissioner Ken Russell.

Why We Need to Know:
With the Biden win, the U.S. Senate lost its only Black female Senator, Kamala Harris. A win by Val Demings could shift the balance of representation and power in the Senate as well as the very red state of Florida. Whether Congresswoman Demings has a primary contest or not, the general election run against Republican Rubio is going to take a historic campaign war chest and a staff from one end of Florida and beyond.