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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.

Go deeper

Jun 8, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Pro-McConnell PAC prepared to intervene in 2022 primaries

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

A super PAC closely aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is prepared to intervene in GOP primaries — and potentially challenge former President Trump — as it looks for the most viable candidates to reclaim the Senate.

Driving the news: Trump’s weekend endorsement of Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) in his state's 2022 Senate race put the GOP establishment on notice that party leaders won’t necessarily get to handpick their preferred candidates for the crucial midterms.

Updated 1 hour ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Teens and adults missed 37 million vaccinations during COVID — Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker