Jun 9, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Val Demings launches Senate campaign with "law and order" message

Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) officially announced her Senate campaign against Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Wednesday with a promotional video that emphasized her "law and order" credentials.

Why it matters: Demings, who was on the shortlist to be Joe Biden's vice president, is viewed as Democrats' best chance to win a Senate seat in a state that has tilted increasingly red in recent years.

The big picture: Demings' video highlights her experience as a Black woman with a background in law enforcement, namely as Orlando's first female chief of police.

  • Demings, who sits on the House Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Intelligence committees, served as an impeachment manager for former President Donald Trump's first impeachment trial.
  • In her "Never Tire" campaign video, Demings describes herself as having brought "law and order to a lawless president." She also attacks Rubio as close to Trump and "too tired to fight the efforts to suppress the people's vote."

Between the lines: Demings' emphasis on law and order stands in contrast to the message promoted by progressive activists who support the "defund the police" movement, which some Democrats believe hurt the party in the 2020 election.

The other side: Rubio posted a video on Twitter in response to Demings' announcement, calling her a "do-nothing House member with not a single significant legislative achievement in her time in Congress."

  • "I've always known that my opponent for the Senate is going to be a far-left liberal Democrat. Today we just found out which one of them Chuck Schumer has picked," Rubio said.

Go deeper: Rep. Val Demings to challenge Marco Rubio for Senate seat.

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