As Senate race tightens, Demings makes several South Florida stops

Rep. Val Demings made several South Florida campaign stops Friday as she tries to unseat Republican incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio.

AVENTURA, Fla. – Rep. Val Demings made several South Florida campaign stops Friday as she tries to unseat Republican incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio.

The Black congresswoman and Senate candidate made her pitch to voters at a fitting event Friday morning: the Orange Blossom Brunch, featuring a group of Black achievers.

Demings is a center-left Democrat, a sharp contrast from Rubio, a conservative.

Charlie Crist and Val Demings were among the Democratic candidates who participated in a rally on Friday in Coral Gables.

On Thursday, he said the life of an unborn child takes precedence over that of an unmarried teenage mother.

“That is just simply ridiculous,” Demings said. “I cannot believe that Marco Rubio would be so cruel are so desperate to want them to carry the seed of their attacker and then say that that seed is more important than the victim.”

With millions of dollars in ads and a relentless campaign, Demings is gaining ground. But while speaking to this group of voters is like preaching to the choir, Local 10 News asked what the congresswoman is doing to reach out to Hispanic voters, a key voting bloc that the Spanish-speaking Rubio has an advantage with.

“This campaign is not the first time that I have sat down at the table with members of the Spanish community, the Puerto Rican or the Colombian or the Venezuelan or the Cuban community,” Demings said. “I have done that for years.”

A reliable poll released this week shows the race tightening, with Rubio ahead by just three points: 49% to 46%.

“We have the momentum,” Demings said. “It is on our side.”

But Rubio remains the favorite, at least for now. A lot depends on what happens when they debate. He’s got experience; she will not be intimidated.

Demings also made stops in Miami and Coral Gables Friday.


About the Author:

Michael Putney came to Local 10 in 1989 to become senior political reporter and host of "This Week In South Florida with Michael Putney." He is Local 10's senior political reporter.