Her candidacy gives the Democrats a high-profile candidate as they hope to challenge Rubio, who is serving in his second term and is a widely known, well-funded opponent. Democrats hold their primary next August.
If she wins in the primary, Demings would face a fierce election campaign against Rubio, as Republicans in Florida have dominated state races for more than a decade. The last time a Democrat won a Senate seat in Florida was in 2012.
On Wednesday, National Republican Senate Committee Chairman Rick Scott, Florida’s second GOP senator, slammed Demings’ announcement as “a (Nancy) Pelosi puppet just looking for a promotion” who has agreed with House Speaker and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s “Radical Left Agenda.”
Rubio has support for Trump for a third term, who remains a popular figure in Florida and resides in the state.
Demings’ decision to run for the Senate unleashed the Democratic primary in the Florida government race, which has attracted the interest of several other high-profile Democrats.
But her candidate for the Senate is also creating a vacancy in Parliament at a time when Democrats have a small majority. Florida also expects a major redistribution as Sunshine State wins a congressional seat after the 2020 census.
When he announced his bid, Demings highlighted his career as the first female police chief for the Orlando Police Department. She joined the police force in 1983 and became chief of police in 2007.
Born in Jacksonville in 1957, Demings was the youngest of seven to a father who worked as a porter and a mother who was a housekeeper – all descendants of slaves.
“When you grow up in southern poor, black and female, you have to trust progress and opportunities. My father was a housekeeper and my mother was a maid – she said, ‘Never tire of doing good, never tired,'” Demings said. in its communication. “I have never been tired of representing Florida, not a single moment. I have never been tired of standing up for what I believe is right. Now I am running for the U.S. Senate because of two simple words: never tired.”
Demings, who was first elected to Congress in 2016, rose to prominence as one of the House of Commons’ indictments accused of bringing the case against former President Donald Trump during his first indictment. She was also among the candidates to be Joe Biden’s ongoing partner in 2020.
This story has been updated with further details.
CNN’s Dan Merica, Daniella Diaz, Ryan Nobles and Alex Rogers contributed to this report.