Florida Sen. Marco Rubio fends off challenge from Democrat Val Demings

click to enlarge Florida Sen. Marco Rubio fends off challenge from Democrat Val Demings
photo by Gage Skidmore

Former Orlando Police Chief  and U.S. House Rep. Val Demings has lost her bid to unseat longtime Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.

Demings — a centrist Democrat with a background seemingly tailor-made to skirt the Republican Party's nationwide "soft on crime"  rhetoric — could not overcome key swings in the state, which has seen its voting base turn more Republican in recent years.

The New York Times called the race for Rubio with little more than 80% of the vote in. Rubio had an insurmountable lead of nearly a million votes.

The writing was on the wall for Demings when early voting seemed to swing Republican in key Democratic strongholds. Two years of Democratic floundering in a divided legislature and ever-increasing costs of living in her home state made Demings' campaign a hard sell.


Since 1990, Orlando Weekly has served as the free, independent voice of Orlando, and we want to keep it that way.

Becoming an Orlando Weekly Supporter for as little as $5 a month allows us to continue offering readers access to our coverage of local news, food, nightlife, events, and culture with no paywalls.

Join today because you love us, too.

Scroll to read more Florida News articles

Join Orlando Weekly Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.