Sen. Marco Rubio is powering up his reelection campaign early, bracing for Democrats to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Florida to defeat him.
Seventeen months before Election Day, the Republican has a campaign manager, political director, director of Hispanic outreach, communications director, and a team of consultants. Mike Needham, chief of staff in Rubio’s Senate office, is expected to play a major role in the campaign in an advisory capacity. Recruitment of grassroots volunteers, in conjunction with the Florida Republican Party and county GOP officials, is underway. Rep. Val Demings, Rubio’s likely Democratic challenger, announced her campaign Wednesday.
The Sunshine State, typically a toss-up battleground, has been friendlier territory for Republicans in recent elections. But those GOP victories were difficult. Rubio’s team expects Demings, a black woman, to raise tens of millions of dollars from grassroots liberals across the country who would love to see a prominent Republican such as Rubio defeated. Democratic groups are