Ron DeSantis squeaked into the Florida governor’s mansion in 2018, winning his election by less than half of a percentage point. Since he’s been in office, though, the governor has run a far-right agenda focus on the MAGA and culture war platform.
Democrats are eager to challenge DeSantis in 2022. There are a number of strong candidates to run against him and many have Val Demings on the top of their list. They will have to look elsewhere now, as she will reportedly challenge Marco Rubio instead.
The Hill reports, “Demings’ expected entrance into the Florida Senate race gives Democrats a top-tier challenger to Rubio, who is expected to run for a third term in 2022. She has expressed interest for months in pursuing statewide office, floating potential runs for both governor and Senate.”
Demings gained a national profile last year in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election. The former chief of the Orlando Police Department was on the short list to be Joe Biden’s running mate. While Kamala Harris was the choice, Demings became a well known Democratic figure.
Taking out Rubio won’t be easy. The Republican is a popular force in Florida politics and won his last election in 2016 by close to 8 points.
Democrats will have to rely on other candidates to challenge DeSantis. Former governor Charlie Crist has recently announced that he will run as a Democrat. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is also looking to challenge DeSantis.
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.