NNPA Exclusive: Rep. Val Demings Will Run for Senate

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Congresswoman Val Demings (D-FL) will run for the U.S. Senate seat out of Florida currently held by Republican Senator Marco Rubio, an advisor to the campaign has confirmed exclusively to the Black Press.

Stories had floated in mainstream media outlets this week that Congresswoman Demings was considering a run against Rubio, but it was just speculation until now.

“She is planning a Senate bid with a more formal announcement coming in June,” Mark Bergman, Congresswoman Demings’ advisor said on Tuesday, May 18.

Electing a Black woman to the U.S. Senate this cycle is a top organizational priority, Quentin James and Stefanie Brown James, the co-founders of The Collective PAC, proclaimed on Tuesday, May 18.

“We are proud to stand with [Congresswoman] Val Demings (D-Fla.),” the couple, who represent the PAC, stated.

“There has never been a more crucial time for us to elect leaders who are committed to criminal justice reform, safeguarding voting rights, and ensuring government officials are held accountable for unethical behavior,” the couple stated.

The Collective PAC is an organization formed to boost Black participation in elected office.

CNN noted that such a bid would provide Democrats with a high-profile candidate in a key Senate race against a nationally known – and well-funded – opponent, Republican Rep. Marco Rubio.

The network cited a source close to the Congresswoman who said she had spent the last few months mulling over a statewide race and recently decided on a bid for the Senate over governor.

“Congresswoman Demings will make for a great candidate and we are positive it will be a successful outcome,” a source close to the Congresswoman told the Black Press.

“She is confident, and why shouldn’t she be?”

Congresswoman Demings has dedicated her life to public service, including a nearly three-decade-long career in the Orlando Police Department.

In 2007, she became the city’s first female police chief.

On then-presidential hopeful Joe Biden’s shortlist for vice president, Congresswoman Demings became the first woman and one of the first African Americans to prosecute a presidential impeachment before the U.S. Senate, where she serves on the House Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Intelligence Committees.

In a live interview with the National Newspaper Publishers Association last summer, Congresswoman Demings stated her case for vice president and other potential offices.

“You all know my history. I grew up the daughter of a maid and a janitor in Jacksonville, Florida,” the Congresswoman offered.

“The youngest of seven children, I watched my father go to work every day, working odd jobs to keep a roof over our heads. I was the first in my family to graduate college. I worked as a social worker, law enforcement officer, and now a member of Congress.”

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