Florida Democratic Rep. Val Demings on Wednesday launched a Senate campaign to unseat incumbent Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.
Demings, a former police chief of Orlando, Fla., touted her work as a cop in a video announcing her campaign — courting moderate voters but potentially alienating left-wing advocates of defunding or abolishing the police.
Her 2022 campaign is expected to draw major national attention. Florida has leaned Republican in recent elections, including last year when Latino voters helped hand former President Donald Trump a decisive win.
Demings, 64, gained prominence last year as one of seven managers of Trump’s first impeachment trial. Her performance won praise even within the White House from Trump aides.
Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) is the former chief of the Orlando Police Department.Getty Images
Rubio, 50, was re-elected to a second term in 2016 by a nearly eight percentage-point margin — trouncing then-Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.), who had received an outpouring of support from national Democrats who believed