Val Demings, who rose to national prominence as a Trump impeachment manager, will challenge Marco Rubio in the 2022 Florida Senate race

Rep. Val Demings
Rep. Val Demings of Florida in February 2019.

  • Rep. Val Demings will take on Marco Rubio in the Florida Senate race next year, Politico reported.
  • Demings is a high-profile, top-tier candidate for Democrats in a politically-tricky state.
  • As a former police chief, she could offer a compelling perspective on issues of policing reform.
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Democratic Rep. Val Demings of Florida, a former Orlando police chief who rose to national prominence as an impeachment manager in former President Donald Trump’s first Senate trial, on Wednesday officially launched her campaign to defeat GOP Sen. Marco Rubio in 2022, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

“I’m running for US Senate because I will never tire of standing up for what is right,” she said on Twitter. “Never tire of serving Florida. Never tire of doing good.”

The entry of Demings into the race provides Democrats with a top-tier candidate in the nation’s premier swing state, albeit one that has had a slight Republican tinge over the past few election cycles.

For months, Demings, who was on President Joe Biden’s shortlist for vice presidential running mates last year, mulled over running for Senate or jumping into the 2022 governor’s race against GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis.

However, Demings felt that she could be most effective by taking on Rubio, according to a Politico report from May.

Demings hinted at a Senate run during an April appearance on “The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart.”

“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,” she said. “I want to go to the position where I can do the most good. My home state of Florida deserves that.”

A national Democrat with knowledge of the party’s strategy to compete for the Senate seat praised Demings’ candidacy last month, telling Politico: “Val is an impressive and formidable candidate whose potential entrance would make the race against Rubio highly competitive.”

In what will likely be a core campaign message to working-class voters, a Demings advisor compared the congresswoman’s biography to that of Rubio.

“She’s the daughter of a maid and a janitor who became the first Black woman police chief in Orlando,” the advisor told Politico. “He’s the son of a maid and a bartender who’s a career politician.”

The advisor also said that Demings was dismayed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and his current “obstruction” under Biden.

“If I had to point to one thing, I think it’s the Covid bill and the way Republicans voted against it for no good reason,” the advisor told Politico. “That really helped push her over the edge.”

Read more: Being a Black Republican is exhausting. But Sen. Tim Scott and other big-name conservatives say they don’t need anyone’s pity or platitudes.

Democrats had been angling to find a candidate to take on Rubio, a two-term senator who was first elected in 2010 and ran for president in 2016. The party is anxious to defeat the ambitious senator, but after his easier-than-expected re-election in 2016, along with Democratic statewide losses in 2018 and Trump’s win over Biden in the state last year, Republicans have been politically ascendant in Florida.

However, with Demings as a candidate, she can compellingly speak on issues of policing and criminal justice reform, and could also blunt GOP attacks regarding the “defund the police” movement, which some in the party blame for electoral losses last year.

Demings was first elected to the House in 2016, where she represents the 10th Congressional district, anchored in Orlando. She sits on the powerful Judiciary, Intelligence, and Homeland Security committees.

Demings was a law enforcement officer with the Orlando Police Department for 27 years, serving as its chief of police from 2007 to 2011. Her husband, Jerry Demings, also served as chief of Orlando’s police, and is currently the Mayor of Orange County, one of the fastest-growing localities in Central Florida.

After Trump was impeached by the House in 2019 for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over the Ukraine scandal, Demings was a highly-visible impeachment manager in his Senate trial, where she argued for his conviction.

The Senate voted to acquit Trump, but Demings told NPR that the decision to make a case against Trump was “worth it.”

“The House managers were the defenders of the Constitution,” she said. “And just like when I was a law enforcement officer, when I saw someone breaking the law, I did not stop and think about, well, my goodness, what will the judge do? What will the jury do down the road? I did my job to stop that threat and then go to court and plead my case.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Val Demings, who rose to national prominence as a Trump impeachment manager, plans to challenge Marco Rubio in the 2022 Florida Senate race

Rep. Val Demings
Rep. Val Demings of Florida in February 2019.

Democratic Rep. Val Demings of Florida, a former Orlando police chief who rose to national prominence as an impeachment manager in former President Donald Trump’s first Senate trial, plans to challenge GOP Sen. Marco Rubio in 2022, according to Politico.

The entry of Demings into the race would provide Democrats with a top-tier candidate in the nation’s premier swing state, albeit one that has had a slight Republican tinge over the past few election cycles.

Demings, who was on President Joe Biden’s shortlist for vice presidential running mates last year, mulled over running for Senate or jumping into the 2022 governor’s race against GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis.

However, Demings felt that she could be most effective by taking on Rubio, according to several Democrats who spoke with Politico.

Demings hinted at a Senate run during an April appearance on “The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart.”

“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,” she said. “I want to go to the position where I can do the most good. My home state of Florida deserves that.”

Demings is expected to finalize her decision in the coming weeks, according to Politico.

Read more: Being a Black Republican is exhausting. But Sen. Tim Scott and other big-name conservatives say they don’t need anyone’s pity or platitudes.

A national Democrat with knowledge of the party’s strategy to compete for the Senate seat praised Demings’ candidacy, telling Politico: “Val is an impressive and formidable candidate whose potential entrance would make the race against Rubio highly competitive.”

In what could be a preview of a campaign message to working-class voters, a Demings advisor compared the congresswoman’s biography to that of Rubio.

“She’s the daughter of a maid and a janitor who became the first Black woman police chief in Orlando,” the advisor told Politico. “He’s the son of a maid and a bartender who’s a career politician.”

The advisor also said that Demings was dismayed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and his current “obstruction” under Biden.

“If I had to point to one thing, I think it’s the Covid bill and the way Republicans voted against it for no good reason,” the advisor told Politico. “That really helped push her over the edge.”

Democrats have been angling to find a candidate to take on Rubio, a two-term senator who was first elected in 2010 and ran for president in 2016. The party is anxious to defeat the ambitious senator, but after his easier-than-expected re-election in 2016, along with Democratic statewide losses in 2018 and Trump’s win over Biden in the state last year, Republicans have been politically ascendant in Florida.

However, with Demings as a candidate, she can compellingly speak on issues of policing and criminal justice reform, and could also blunt GOP attacks regarding the “defund the police” movement, which some in the party blame for electoral losses last year.

Demings was first elected to the House in 2016, where she represents the 10th Congressional district, anchored in Orlando. She sits on the powerful Judiciary, Intelligence, and Homeland Security committees.

Demings was a law enforcement officer with the Orlando Police Department for 27 years, serving as its chief of police from 2007 to 2011. Her husband, Jerry Demings, also served as chief of Orlando’s police, and is currently the Mayor of Orange County, one of the fastest-growing localities in Central Florida.

After Trump was impeached by the House for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over the Ukraine scandal, Demings was a highly-visible impeachment manager in his Senate trial, where she argued for his conviction.

The Senate voted to acquit Trump, but Demings told NPR that the decision to make a case against Trump was “worth it.”

“The House managers were the defenders of the Constitution,” she said. “And just like when I was a law enforcement officer, when I saw someone breaking the law, I did not stop and think about, well, my goodness, what will the judge do? What will the jury do down the road? I did my job to stop that threat and then go to court and plead my case.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

‘Did I strike a nerve?’: Reps. Val Demings and Jim Jordan get into a heated screaming match over policing

Val Demings
Rep. Val Demings gestures as she shouts at Rep. Jim Jordan during a committee debate.

  • Reps. Val Demings and Jim Jordan engaged in a heated shouting match over policing.
  • The argument came hours before a jury convicted Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.
  • Demings accused Republicans of backing law enforcement when it’s “politically convenient” and added, “What, did I strike a nerve?”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Democratic Rep. Val Demings and Republican Rep. Jim Jordan got into a shouting match about policing in the US on Tuesday, just hours before a jury convicted the former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.

The argument came during a committee debate over the bipartisan COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which would direct the Department of Justice to expedite the review of coronavirus-related hate crimes and improve public reporting on hate crimes during the pandemic.

Demings had the floor and was criticizing Republicans over an amendment they introduced aimed at preventing efforts to defund the police, a platform supported by many progressive activists and lawmakers.

“I served as a law enforcement officer for 27 years,” the Democratic lawmaker said. “It is a tough job, and good police officers deserve your support.”

She then accused Republicans of supporting police officers “when it’s politically convenient to do so,” adding, “Law enforcement officers risk their lives every day. They deserve better.”

“The American people deserve better,” Demings went on, before Jordan appeared to interrupt her. “I have the floor, Mr. Jordan,” Demings said as she spoke over the Ohio congressman. “What, did I strike a nerve?”

At that point, the committee’s chairman, Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, banged his gavel and repeatedly called for Demings to suspend her speaking because she was over her time.

“Law enforcement officers deserve better than to be utilized as pawns,” Demings went on, even as Nadler continued banging the gavel. “You and your colleagues should be ashamed of yourselves!”

Nadler then admonished Jordan, saying members “must not interrupt someone who has the time.” He went on to say that Jordan “simply can’t shout out” because he disagrees with another lawmaker, to which Jordan replied, “I agree.”

Demings then told Jordan he didn’t know “what in the heck you’re talking about.” She added: “You know nothing about what law enforcement officers do, and you’re using them as pawns because it serves your ridiculous political purposes.”

“I know about my motive,” Jordan shot back.

“Everyone will suspend,” Nadler said as Demings spoke over Jordan. “I am making the point: no one may shout out when someone else has the time.”

Jordan then appeared to suggest that Nadler was singling out Republican lawmakers and said Democrats had also interrupted other members while they were speaking.

“When you give a speech, Mr. Chairman, about motives and questioning motives, when our motives are questioned, how do we address that?” Jordan said.

“This is emotionally charged,” Demings said, adding, “I have watched them live and die and you know nothing about that. And to use them as political pawns pisses me off.”

The Democratic lawmaker also pointed out that she saw little Republican support for police officers on January 6, during the deadly Capitol insurrection after which five people died and multiple Capitol Police officers were injured.

Those officers “were fighting for their lives because of the Big Lie that was told, and my colleagues on the other side of the aisle were silent,” Demings continued, referring to former President Donald Trump’s lies and conspiracy theories about election-rigging and voter fraud.

Watch the exchange below:

Read the original article on Business Insider