With the theme “Never Tire,” Florida Democratic Congresswoman Val Demings on Wednesday formally launched her campaign to try to unseat U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in 2022.
The announcement was not a surprise: Demings last month said to “stay tuned” amid reports that she would run for Senate.
She made the announcement in a YouTube video on Wednesday morning.
Nevertheless, her entrance ratchets up the profile of the race, as Demings drew national attention last year when President Joe Biden considered her as a potential running mate and as she served as one of the House impeachment managers in former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial.
In the video announcing her candidacy, Demings traced her background from growing up as a Black child in Jacksonville to becoming Orlando police chief to getting elected to Congress.
“When you grow up in the South, poor, black and female, you have to have faith in progress and opportunity,” Demings said in the video, “My father was a janitor, and my mother was a maid. She said, ‘Val, never grow tired of doing good. Never tire. Work hard, not just for yourself but for others.”
In the video, Demings also cited her role in impeaching Trump, saying, “we brought law and order to a lawless president,” and tried to portray Rubio as a go-along Washington insider.
“Unlike some in Washington, I never tire in standing up for what I believe is right because no one is above the law, But it turns out, there are some in Washington who prefer the same old tired ways of doing business,” she said as the video flashed pictures of Rubio with Trump and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
Demings, 64, served as an Orlando police officer for 27 years, rising to chief, and was first elected to Congress in 2016. She is part of a power couple in Central Florida, as her husband, Jerry Demings, is Orange County mayor.