Look out, Lil' Marco! Drink your water fast, because Sheriff Demings is coming to arrest your sorry behind.

Well, probably not literally. But this morning, Orlando Rep. Val Demings all but confirmed that she's running for the US Senate in 2022 to put Marco Rubio out of Florida's misery.

Good luck running the RADICAL SOCIALISTS DEFUNDING COPS play on a 27-year law enforcement veteran who was the first woman to head the Orlando Police Department. But no one has ever accused Marco Rubio of being a fast learner.

"While Democrats are flailing to find their next candidate to advance their radical agenda, Senator Rubio is focused on delivering wins for the people of Florida," his spokesman huffed in response to Demings's announcement.

Florida is a complicated swamp with unseen gators lurking beneath the political algae blooms. Demings is in a safe seat but was in danger of being redistricted out in 2022 if Republicans jammed a bunch more Gippers in her district. She and fellow Democrat Rep. Stephanie Murphy could have been forced to compete against each other, and Murphy has also been reported to be contemplating a statewide run.

Demings has been mentioned as a possible challenger to Governor Ron DeSantis, who is also up in 2022. But DeSantis is wildly popular, in addition to being a fundraising juggernaut. With former Governor Charlie Crist and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried already in the gubernatorial race, the prospect of three high-profile Democrats bloodying each other up and wasting campaign funds in the primary caused some indigestion for Florida Dems.

Florida Politics blog got the skinny from multiple Florida Democratic strategists who are thrilled to see Demings pick a lane this early in the race.

"Her background as a police chief prepares her to talk about two of the most urgent issues facing the country: Systemic racism and police reform," said one, while another noted that, notwithstanding progressives' distrust of police, "being a cop will be an advantage in the General."

(Hey, seeing how control of the Senate is on the line, how 'bout Team Blue tries not to spend the next year shouting ALL COPS ARE BASTARDS, mmmkay?)

No one has ever accused Florida Dems of being too prepared. (See: Biden's abysmal performance with Hispanic voters in 2020. See also: Bill Nelson losing his Senate seat in 2018 because Rick Scott bothered to learn Spanish.) But Politico reports that Demings is already working with The Collective PAC, which supports Black candidates and worked with Andrew Gillum when he narrowly lost to DeSantis in 2018. She's also bringing on Zach Carroll, who managed Jaime Harrison's 2020 run against Senator Lindsey Graham, so you know she's serious.

Unfortunately, there's no Stacey Abrams or Ben Wikler for Florida, and the clock is ticking for the state party to get its shit together and start registering voters. But with Demings hitting the ground running, at least we have a fighting chance.

So watch out Senator Bible Tweet, your days in DC may be numbered.

[Florida Politics / Politico]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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