U.S. Senate race: Demings challenges Rubio in one of the country’s most expensive faceoffs

ORLANDO, Fla. — One of the biggest races we’re keeping a close eye on is the battle for one of Florida’s two Senate seats.


Republican Sen. Marco Rubio is looking for a third six-year term, while Democratic Rep. Val Demings of Orlando is hoping to unseat him.

Rubio has been hitting the campaign trail hard in recent days. He had a rally with former President Donald Trump in South Florida over the weekend and was in Orlando with Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday.

It’s an important race for both sides of the political spectrum. It’s important for Rubio to keep the seat as Republicans try to take control of the Senate.

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Despite raising $30 million less, Rubio is leading in the polls and hoping to extend his time in office.

Demings, a former Orlando police chief, spent more money, resulting in the third most expensive U.S. Senate race in the country behind Georgia and Pennsylvania.

Demings is well-known in Central Florida, but her challenge was to create name recognition in other parts of the state where Rubio has been representing constituents for years.

READ: Florida governor’s race: Early polls indicate GOP lead in matchup between DeSantis, Crist

Demings raised more than $72 million as of the most recent campaign finance report that ended Oct. 19. That’s $26 million more than Rubio.

She went into the final few weeks of the election cycle with $4.9 million on hand compared to Rubio’s $4.1 million.

SEE: 2022 Midterm election results

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Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

Karla Ray

Karla Ray, WFTV.com

Karla Ray anchors Eyewitness News This Morning on Saturday and Sundays, and is an investigative reporter for the 9 Investigates unit.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.