U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., called to abolish the filibuster because it “undermines the basic principle that makes our democracy work” in an op-ed published by USA Today.
Demings launched her 2022 Senate campaign against Sen. Marco Rubio earlier this month. In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Demings acknowledged she’s in for a “tough fight” against the two-term senator and former presidential candidate. Her column, “Voters didn’t elect us to do nothing and blame the Senate filibuster. Get rid of it,” was seen by some critics as a bid for out-of-state money rather than an appeal to a battleground state that’s trended red in recent elections.
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“The future of our republic is being decided, and by some quirk of history, a once-obscure Senate procedure is at the center of it,” Demings wrote in the piece published on Sunday. “The filibuster threatens the freedoms of every American, no matter the color of your skin, your gender, ZIP code, political party, or how much money you have (or don’t have) in the bank.”
Left-wing Democrats and media members have pressured Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and other moderates to nuke the filibuster and facilitate a more progressive agenda.
Demings wrote the filibuster undermines the “government of the people, by the people, for the people” aspect of American democracy.
“It’s no secret that the filibuster’s main use over the last century has been to block efforts to make this country freer and fairer for all its citizens,” she wrote. “Voting rights are under attack. Authoritarian impulses threaten the Constitution and the freedoms that generations of Americans have died to protect.”
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Demings concluded her op-ed: “Our challenges are great. But our ability to rise to those challenges is equally great. The solution to all our problems is more democracy, not less … When we embrace our heritage and our potential as a free people, we can accomplish anything – and we should do it with the majority. In the Senate, that’s 51 votes. “
Demings spent nearly three decades in law enforcement, rising through the ranks to become the Orlando Police Department’s first female police chief. Last year, she was considered as then-presidential nominee Joe Biden’s running mate. Because of her background, some Democrats said it would be hard for Republicans to pin the “socialist” label on her.
However, Rubio was quick to tie Demings to the most far-left elements of the Democratic Party.
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“None of them will admit to being a socialist,” Rubio told Fox News in a recent interview. “She probably won’t. But she certainly has voted for socialist things… how can you vote with ‘the Squad’ 94% of the time and argue that you’re not an honorary member of that group? How can you vote with Nancy Pelosi 100% of the time and argue that you’re not a far-left, liberal extremist?”
Fox News’ Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.