Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) has officially entered the race for the U.S. Senate in 2022. The Congresswoman is seeking to become the first Black person and only the second woman to represent Florida as a Senator.
“When you grow up in the South poor, Black and female, you have to have faith in progress and opportunity. My father was a janitor and my mother was a maid— she said: ‘never tire of doing good, never tire,” said Demings in her announcement. “I’ve never tired of representing Florida, not for one single moment. I’ve never tired of standing up for what I believe is right. Now I’m running for the United States Senate because of two simple words: never tire.”
Demings was elected to the House of Representatives in 2016, and sits on committees that include Judiciary and Homeland Security. She was selected by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to serve as an impeachment manager during proceedings against then-president Donald Trump. The Congresswoman was also reportedly on the short list of women considered when then-candidate Joe Biden was selecting a running mate to be vice-president.
Demings has a lengthy history of service— first, as a social worker, and then as an officer with the Orlando Police Department for nearly 30 years. During her tenure, she became the first woman to serve as Chief of the Orlando Police Department.
She’s also active with the A.M.E. church, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., The Links, the NAACP and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE).
The Senate race in Florida would potentially pit Demings, a Democrat, against incumbent Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican. The Collective PAC, which works to increase Black political office-holders and engagement, endorsed Demings early on. So has the Higher Heights for America PAC.
“The 2022 election cycle will again have the potential to be a historic moment for Black women. We currently have zero Black women in the Senate and Rep. Demings is in a position to ensure that all Black women will have a voice in the upper chamber,” said Glynda Carr, President and CEO of Higher Heights. “Next year is shaping up to have a record number of Black women running for the first time and to be re-elected. Black women are again projected to be a critical and influential voting bloc in both the Democratic Party primaries and general election.”