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Photo: Shawn Thew - Pool/Getty Images

Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) plans to run for the U.S. Senate to unseat Republican Marco Rubio next year, rather than pursue a run for governor, according to an adviser and another source familiar with her plans.

Why it matters: Demings' candidacy will place a household name — and one who was on President Biden's shortlist for vice president — on the ballot for Democrats. Rubio has won two elections in the battleground state, including one that followed a failed bid for the GOP's nomination for the presidency in 2016.

  • The 64-year-old Demings was first elected to her Orlando-area seat in Congress in 2016, after serving as the city's first female police chief.
  • She also served as a House manager during former President Trump's first impeachment, and currently sits on the House Intelligence, Judiciary, and Homeland Security committees.

Flashback: Demings told Politico in April that she "received so many calls and texts and emails," from people who think she should "run for statewide office and maybe challenge the governor, or challenge Sen. Rubio next year."

  • "I'm seriously considering a statewide run. And we'll see what happens," she said at the time.

Between the lines: "As a Black woman and law enforcement officer, her background made her uniquely situated to be a national Democratic spokesperson for policing and race issues," writes Politico, which first reported her candidacy.

Go deeper

May 17, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Rubio raises UFO concerns in "60 Minutes" interview

Sen. Marco Rubio, during an April Senate hearing in Washington, D.C. Photo: Graeme Jennings-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is leading calls to take reports of UFOs more seriously ahead of the expected release next month of a government report on such sightings.

Why it matters: Rubio, who as acting Senate Intelligence Committee chair asked for an unclassified copy of the report to be released to Congress, told CBS' "60 Minutes" in an interview broadcast Sunday: "Anything that enters an airspace that's not supposed to be there is a threat."

22 mins ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Tax season nightmare ahead for understaffed IRS

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The IRS will start accepting 2021 tax returns in less than a week, and the filing delays and administrative headaches to come might eclipse last year — which was “one of the worst filing seasons," according to an independent advocacy agency within the IRS.

Why it matters: For taxpayers, especially with complex or paper filings, this means headaches, delayed refunds, and mistakes.

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