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No Black Woman Serves as a U.S. Senator. Congresswoman Val Demings Could Change That.

Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) is “seriously” contemplating a run for the U.S. Senate, one that could make her the first Black person and only second woman to represent Florida as a Senator. 

The 2022 race would potentially pit Demings, a Democrat, against incumbent Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican. Demings was elected to the House of Representatives in 2016, and she sits on committees that include the Judiciary and Homeland Security. 

In 2018, she was the only Black woman selected to serve as an impeachment manager during proceedings against then-president Donald Trump. The Congresswoman was also reportedly on the short list when then-candidate Joe Biden was selecting a running mate to be vice-president. At the time, Demings released a statement about her personal and professional journey. 

“I grew up poor, black and female in the South. My mother was a maid and my father a janitor. But my parents pushed me to work hard, believe in myself, and reach for the American Dream. The fact that my name is being called during such a time as this confirms that the American Dream is attainable, if given the opportunity.”

On May 18, she tweeted that she was “seriously considering” a Senate run:

The Collective PAC—a political action committee dedicated to increasing Black political engagement, representation, and power across all levels of government—has already endorsed Demings, calling her a “dedicated public servant.”  

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 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). 

Sources told ESSENCE an official announcement from Demings could come in June. 

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