Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) says that she is “seriously considering” running to unseat either Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis or Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, both of whom have established themselves as defenders of Trumpism (although DeSantis is significantly more closely aligned with the former president).
Demings commented as follows during a Sunday appearance on MSNBC after getting asked about potentially running in either statewide race:
‘I am seriously considering running. I have received calls and texts and messages from people all over the state asking me to run because they feel that they are not represented and their voices are not heard. And I believe that every Floridian deserves to have representation regardless of the color of their skin, where they live, how much money they have in the bank, their sexual orientation, or their religion, so I am seriously considering it.’
After host Jonathan Capehart noted that Demings hadn’t singled out either the governorship or Rubio’s Senate seat in her remarks, the Florida Congresswoman added as follows:
‘I want to go to the position where I can do the most good and be the most effective and do the most work. My home state of Florida deserves that. And so I’m taking my time, of course — I’m talking to my family and others about it, and I’ll make a decision soon.’
Demings also indicated that she’d be open to running for House Speaker should Nancy Pelosi decide to step aside from the position. Check out Demings’s comments below:
.@RepValDemings breaks news on The #SundayShow by confirming to @CapehartJ that she is "seriously considering" a run for governor of Florida, or a U.S. senator from #Florida. pic.twitter.com/ZgS4uDYn2m
— The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart (@TheSundayShow) April 25, 2021
Besides past high-profile work like her role as an impeachment case manager during the first impeachment proceedings against Trump, Demings recently garnered significant attention for a take-down of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) that she delivered during a House hearing. Demings — who is a former police chief in the city of Orlando — condemned Jordan for “using” police officers as so-called “pawns” for his “ridiculous political purpose,” as she put it at the time. Jordan reacted in part by complaining that his “motive” for his showy support of law enforcement was under scrutiny.
In Florida, DeSantis — who’s in his first term — was initially elected by a thin margin, having beat Democratic challenger Andrew Gillum by 0.4 percent. Rubio’s most recent margin of victory was larger — in 2016, which was a great year for Republicans overall, Rubio won re-election by some 7.7 percent. Rubio once ran against Trump in the 2016 Republican presidential primary, but he has since expressed relatively consistent support for the now former president. DeSantis has been allied with Trump for years — and POLITICO recently reported that Trump “has privately told advisers that if he runs again, he wants DeSantis as his running mate.”