“Get his ass.”
Those, dear readers, are the first words to have left my mouth when learning that Democratic Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) announced that she would be running for Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s seat in the 2022 midterms.
“I know how to get through tough times, and I think we would all agree that we’re in some really tough, unusual times right now,” Demings said in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel. “But I’m not afraid of a tough fight.”
If you didn’t know, Demings has had a long history of public service. She served in law enforcement for 27 years, becoming the first woman to become chief of the Orlando Police Department. She was chosen by Nancy Pelosi to be the impeachment manager during the former president’s first impeachment trial, and was on President Biden’s shortlist for vice president before he wound up choosing Kamala Harris.
Rubio has already gone on the attack, calling Demings a socialist. “None of them [Demings and other Democrats] will admit to being a socialist. She probably won’t. But she certainly has voted for socialist things,” Rubio said in an interview with Fox News on Monday. I love how the GOP thinks “we should improve society,” is now the baseline ideology for socialism. Demings pushed back against Rubio’s assertion that she’s a socialist, simply because saying, “I am not.”
“I have dedicated my life to public service. I spent the overwhelming majority of that time, 27 years, as a law enforcement officer. I served as the chief of police. ... Desperate people will do and say desperate things. And I don’t blame Rubio and the GOP for being very concerned about me running for the United States Senate against Marco Rubio.”
Get his ass.
From the Orlando Sentinel:
Rubio, seeking his third term in the U.S. Senate, won reelection in 2016 by seven percentage points over Democratic opponent Patrick Murphy and will be a formidable opponent for Demings or any other Democrat in a state that has tilted increasingly more Republican for the past 20 years.
But Demings sees vulnerability in some of Rubio’s recent votes.
“Marco Rubio voted against stimulus checks, he voted against COVID relief for our schools and our small businesses,” Demings said. “And he voted against helping those on the frontlines, our first responders or teachers, our health care workers.”
Demings said protecting voting rights against restrictions passed by Republicans in Florida and other states, especially after the Jan. 6 attack by a pro-Trump mob on the U.S. Capitol, is one of her biggest priorities.
In recent months, there have been growing calls by Democratic politicians to end the Senate filibuster, an effort Demings has said she supports. “The filibuster has been used as a partisan weapon for decades,” Demings told the Sentinel. “We were not elected to be obstructionists. … We were elected to get things done. And when we talk about protecting some of the most basic rights in this country, the filibuster blocks those things, and we need to get rid of it.”
It’s not lost on Demings that, as a Florida Democrat, she has quite a fight ahead of her. In the last nine years, the state has only elected one Democratic statewide official in Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. The state went to Donald Trump in the last two presidential elections, and Rubio’s base of Miami Cubans has only gone further to the right in recent years.
“There is no doubt that the Florida Democratic Party, we need to get our act together,” she said. “We lost some painful races. But the bottom line is, this is about every Democratic group in Florida. … This is about building the most unique coalition of people throughout the state.”
I’m rooting for her. Both because I love seeing Black women win, and also because I’m tired of dealing with Rubio’s ol’ Not-Ralph Macchio looking ass.