Democratic options in 2022 run through I-4

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The last time Florida Democrats held the governor’s mansion was in the late 1990s. The last time Florida Democrats won a U.S. Senate race was in 2012.

With two marquee statewide races on the ballot in 2022, Florida Democrats are looking to reverse their fortunes.

“It’s a real strategy question for the Democrats,” says UCF political science professor Dr. John Hanley.

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Hanley notes that Democrats are facing congressional redistricting, when the state will add a Congressional District and redraw district lines. Republicans control the legislature, and while the Florida constitution calls for fair districts, Democrats are aware that districts will change and may tilt more Republican in 2022.

“It’s unclear how those seats will be affected, the Crist seat, the Murphy seat the Demings seat because Republicans control redistricting,” says Hanley.

Already, former Republican Governor, and current Democratic Congressman Charlie Crist has announced a run for Governor.  Meanwhile Congresswoman Val Demings is expected to jump in the U.S. Senate race to face Marco Rubio.  In addition, Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy has not announced her plans and could jump into the Senate race as well.

READ: Val Demings plans to challenge Marco Rubio in Florida Senate race

“I’m not sure about Demings’ district but you could say that about Murphy,” says political consultant Jacob Perry. “There are only so many places you can draw the lines, I’m looking at population of the state it’s obviously in central Florida.”

For Florida Democrats the race ahead will not just be difficult, it’ll be costly.  Rubio is a proven fundraiser and DeSantis has already started amassing a large campaign reelection fund.

“It is going to cost $30 million or more to be competitive in this race and that is a tough nut to crack,” says Perry.

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