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 DemingsStephanie Murphy won’t run for Senate seat in Florida next year Democrats, GOP face crowded primaries as party leaders lose control House Democrats introduce bill to close existing gun loopholes and prevent mass shootings 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 RubioNRSC chair presses Trump to support incumbents in 2022 Both parties agree on the end of Reaganomics — and little else Stephanie Murphy won’t run for Senate seat in Florida next year 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.
“I’ve been serving this community for almost 10 years now as an elected representative and senator,” Bracy told Politico, which was the first outlet to report on his candidacy. “I have a passion for this community.”
The announcement marks something of a reversal for Bracy, who in March teased a gubernatorial bid against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisHillicon Valley: Huawei to move toward software development in wake of US restrictions | DeSantis signs bill to fine tech companies for banning politicians | Twitter to rollout ticketed Spaces to limited group of users Florida cuts off 0 weekly pandemic unemployment benefits DeSantis signs bill to fine tech companies for banning politicians MORE (R), a conservative darling and top target for Democrats in the 2022 cycle.
Neither Bracy nor his office immediately responded to requests for comment from The Hill.
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 MurphyStephanie Murphy won’t run for Senate seat in Florida next year Democrats, GOP face crowded primaries as party leaders lose control Demings planning to run for Senate instead of Florida governor MORE, another Florida Democrat mulling a Senate bid, to instead run for reelection to her House seat.
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.