ORLANDO, Fla. – Three candidates have thrown their hat into the ring for U.S. Rep. Val Demings’ seat in Congress.
Demings said in a May 18 tweet she is “seriously considering” running for the U.S. Senate next year against Republican Marco Rubio.
I'm humbled at the encouraging messages I'm seeing today. I know the stakes are too high for Republicans to stand in the way of getting things done for Floridians, which is why I'm seriously considering a run for the Senate. Stay tuned.— Val Demings (@val_demings) May 18, 2021
The most recent candidate to announce their run for Congress is former Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala, whose announcement came in a YouTube video early Wednesday morning.
“And since the fifth grade, I knew my calling was summed up with one word: justice,” Ayala said in the video. “... Now I’m running for Congress because the fight for justice, for all of us, continues.”
She later tweeted Wednesday she plans to run for Florida’s 10th district.
It’s official! I’m running to represent #FL10 in Congress! When life gives you a second chance, every day is an opportunity to serve people and fight for justice. Let’s do this! ➡️ https://t.co/j7oBUVyIV5 pic.twitter.com/EUpUWXoSLJ— Aramis Ayala (@AramisAyalaFL) May 26, 2021
Ayala’s announcement follows two others who announced Tuesday they are also running for Congress.
Current state Sen. Randolph Bracy said he is entering the race for Florida’s 10th district, assuming Demings moves ahead with plans to run for Senate. Civil Rights Attorney Natalie Jackson also announced Tuesday she is looking to fill Demings’ congressional seat.
On the Republican side, online documentation shows that Dr. Willie Montague is also running for the seat. He was defeated by Vennia Francois in the August primary. Francois then lost to Demings in November.
Demings, 64, the Orlando police chief from 2007 to 2011 and wife of Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, gained national recognition as a House prosecutor in former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial.