Florida state senator announces bid for Demings's House seat

Florida state senator announces bid for Demings's House seat
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Florida state Sen. Randolph Bracy became the first Democrat to formally jump into the race for the congressional seat held by Rep. Val DemingsValdez (Val) Venita DemingsThe Hill's Morning Report - Surging COVID-19 infections loom over US, Olympics Six takeaways: What the FEC reports tell us about the midterm elections Cuba, Haiti pose major challenges for Florida Democrats MORE (D).

Bracy, who first joined the state Senate in 2016, represents parts of Orlando and has been a top advocate for criminal justice reform. While no other contender has formally jumped into the race for the Democrats, former local prosecutor Aramis Ayala last week floated that she will run for the seat as well.

Demings is expected to mount a challenge to Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioBipartisan congressional commission urges IOC to postpone, relocate Beijing Games Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill to hold platforms accountable for misinformation during health crises | Website outages hit Olympics, Amazon and major banks Senators introduce bipartisan bill to secure critical groups against hackers MORE (R-Fla.), and while the race to replace her in the House is likely to get crowded, Bracy could enjoy home-field advantage given that his state Senate district makes up 80 percent of Demings’s district.

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“Our country needs urgent action on real police reform, on voting rights, on equity funding for jobs, healthcare, education and housing for long-neglected communities. That is the fight I took on in Tallahassee and I’m ready to lead on these issues right now in Congress,” Bracy said in a statement.

The announcement marks something of a reversal for Bracy, who in March teased a gubernatorial bid against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Florida asks Supreme Court to block CDC's limits on cruise ship industry Noem to travel to South Carolina for early voting event MORE (R), a conservative darling and top target for Democrats in the 2022 cycle.

“The real fight for justice and equity is in Washington, D.C. where historic, consequential debates are happening right now,” he said.

News that Demings would run for the Senate first broke last week, handing Democrats a top-tier contender in what is expected to be a fiercely contested Senate race in a swing state. Her expected candidacy was significant enough to convince Rep. Stephanie MurphyStephanie MurphyHouse erupts in anger over Jan. 6 and Trump's role We must address the declining rate of startup business launches Moderate Democrats call for 9/11-style panel to probe COVID-19 origins MORE, another Florida Democrat mulling a Senate bid, to instead run for reelection to her House seat.

“I salute the incredible work of Congresswoman Demings,” said Bracy. “I am the most experienced, prepared candidate to continue the work she’s done in Congress.”

The precise future borders for Florida’s 10th Congressional District are unclear given the upcoming redistricting process. However, the district as it stands now is safely Democratic, with Demings winning by 28 points, making it unlikely to be competitive for Republicans.