We’re pretty sure Marco Rubio woke up this morning and immediately wet the bed. Why? Because Val Demings, who’s challenging him for his Senate seat in 2022, just disclosed her third quarter fundraising numbers and she outraised him by almost $2.5 million.
Demings raked in more than $8 million over the last three months, from July 1 to September 30, according to Florida Politics. That’s more than any candidate has ever raised at this stage of a Senate campaign in Florida history. It’s also the second quarter in a row she’s outdone Rubio.
Not only that, but her $8.4 million haul is almost double what she raised in the second quarter of the year, meaning the momentum behind her campaign is growing.
Meanwhile, Rubio raised just $6 million in the same time period. And while he still has more cash on hand than Demings, thanks to leftovers from his previous two Senate runs, she’s catching up quick. Very quick.
She did it! Val Demings raised $8.4 million, the LARGEST off-year quarter in Florida Senate history!
Val is going to do this….she is going to flip this seat from Rubio!!!
— Amy Siskind ???? (@Amy_Siskind) October 13, 2021
In addition to being a fundraising machine and all-around badass, Demings is a fierce LGBTQ ally.
In 2019, she co-sponsored the Equality Act, saying in a tweet, “Our past is so ugly in this area. We should all be trying to make it right. The #EqualityAct will protect #LGBTQ people from discrimination in housing, employment, education, and more.”
And in 2018, she gave a truly inspiring speech at the HRC’s annual Time to Thrive Youth Conference, where she took the room to church as she spoke about the importance of celebrating our authentic selves.
Rubio, on the other hand, is about as antigay as they come.
He opposes same-sex marriage, non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people, and gender neutral bathrooms. He also voted against Pete Buttigieg being the first out Secretary of Transportation and Rachel Levin being the first openly trans assistant secretary for health. Oh, and he has a 0% rating with the HRC.
If she wins her party’s nomination, which she’s favored to do, Demings will still have her work cut out for her. Democrats haven’t been doing great in Florida that last few election cycles. Trump carried the state in both 2016 and 2020 and last year two Democrats lost two House seats in the Miami area after flipping them just two years earlier.
That said, if these fundraising numbers are any indicator, she’s more than up to the task.
Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.