ORLANDO, Fla. – Sen. Marco Rubio has won a third term in the U.S. Senate as Florida’s senior senator.
Rubio, a Republican, faced a challenge from Rep. Val Demings, D-Orlando.
At times, polls had shown the race within the margin of error.
Rubio ran a campaign pulled from the Republican playbook, tying Demings to President Joe Biden and hammering her on issues like spending, rising inflation and a crisis at the southern border. The Republican was helped by shifting voter registration numbers in a state that has become increasingly red. Demings was vying to become Florida’s first Black senator. She was Orlando’s first female police chief before being elected to the House six years ago
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Let’s meet the candidates for U.S. Senate.
Marco Rubio has been in the U.S. Senate since 2011, and before that he served in the Florida House of Representatives, rising all the way to House Speaker. He’s a lifelong Miami resident. He also launched an unsuccessful run for president in 2016.
Rubio is a conservative values lawmaker. He votes with the Republican Party a majority of the time in the U.S. Senate on a range of issues. He is anti-abortion, even signing on as a co-sponsor to a nationwide 15-week abortion ban.
He is also co-sponsor of a bill to repeal the prescription drug price control provisions in the new Inflation Reduction Act. Rubio has said he believes the bill will hurt cancer treatment research.
Rubio is very anti-communist and has taken point on issues related to China, Cuba and Venezuela and human rights abuses there. He has also championed international religious freedom.
He also occasionally reaches across the aisle, such as voting on a nationwide gun control bill last summer. He pushed to double the child tax credit and create the Paycheck Protection Program during the pandemic. He has also supported Everglades restoration funding.
Val Demings is a U.S. congresswoman, representing U.S. House District 10, which includes much of west Orange County. She’s been in the seat since 2016. Before that, Demings was chief of the Orlando Police Dept., the first woman to take the job. She was appointed chief in 2007 and was with the department for 27 years.
In the U.S. House, Demings has supported the Democratic agenda the majority of the time, with a strong focus on public safety. She’s supported funding for police, but also voted for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which called for police reform. She’s also advocated for more gun control legislation. She’s served on the House committees on homeland security, judiciary and the permanent select committee on intelligence.
Demings came to prominence when she served as an impeachment manager for the first impeachment trial of President Trump. She was also on the shortlist to be future president Joe Biden’s running mate. He eventually picked Kamala Harris.
Dennis Misigoy is a software engineer in Miami running as a Libertarian for U.S. Senate. His political experience includes time on the Enclave at Black Point Community Development District, a special taxing district for a community. Misigoy says he’s running because Democrats and Republicans have allowed atrocities to be committed by the federal government without anything stopping them.
Misigoy said if elected he would oppose U.S. support in the Ukraine-Russia war, wants to decrease military spending, end the Federal Reserve, support cryptocurrencies in a “free market of currencies,” end the current immigration system and replace it with a process similar to the “Ellis Island” style we had in the 20 th century, among other issues.
Steven B. Grant
Steven B. Grant is an attorney who served as mayor of Boynton Beach from 2016 to 2022.
Grant says he wants to support more American-made goods and products, reform the immigration courts, expand the military, prohibit state from automatically registering to vote anyone with a drivers license and require certification of citizenship status before voting.
Tuan TQ Nguyen
Tuan Nguyen is a Vietnamese immigrant, engineer and human rights activist who is running with no party affiliation.
Nguyen says there is an absence of the voice of independent voters who have been sidelined thanks to the political primary system. He also laments the increasing polarization in American politics and the rise of authoritarianism.
Nguyen is running on a platform of immigration reform, support for strong American foreign policy, reforming health care, and merit-based financial aid for students.
Write-in candidates will not appear on the ballot. They are officially registered and qualify as candidates with the state of Florida, but in order for them to get votes you have to know who they are and write their names in on the ballot.
Here are the write-in candidates for U.S. Senate, and where you can find information about them.
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