Florida ex-state attorney Aramis Ayala considering House run instead of Senate

Ayala is now pivoting from a Senate run to an aim for a seat in the House, since Val Demings is gunning for Marco Rubio.

The news that Florida Rep. Val Demings is considering a run against Marco Rubio for a U.S. Senate seat is creating some shifts among the state’s Democrats seeking to serve. 

Orlando-area former state attorney Aramis Ayala is now pivoting from a Senate challenge to an effort to win a seat in the House of Representatives. 

Florida former state attorney Aramis Ayala speaks onstage during the 2018 Global Citizen Festival: Be The Generation event in Central Park in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Global Citizen)

“I’ve had some very productive discussions with leaders in our community, around the state, and nationally about the best way to serve,” the progressive Democrat said in a statement Wednesday. “There will be a strong need for a progressive champion who can build on the work Congresswoman Demings has done in Congress and advocate for Florida’s 10th District.” 

The pivot comes just two weeks after Ayala announced she was pursuing the Senate seat on Twitter.


“You may know me as a colleague, a friend, family, and a former state attorney here in Florida,” Ayala said in a May 3rd video ad. “You know me as a lover of truth and justice, a principle fighter for what is right, someone who bases decisions on facts and evidence, one who values and respects science.”

“I am exploring a run for the United States Senate,” she contended, “and if I do, I will be prepared to win. You know I can be trusted to defend what is right and will always stand up for Florida.” 

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Should Demings defeat Rubio, her House seat is expected to be highly coveted by Florida Democrats in the 10th district. Ayala did not express that she’d be seeking to replace Demings, the three-term congresswoman and pioneer former chief of the Orlando Police, should she win the Senate seat, but that is what her announcement suggests. 

Ayala is a progressive Democrat who gained national attention several years ago when she pledged to stop pursuing the death penalty in criminal cases. Then-Gov. Rick Scott, now a senator, responded by moving death penalty cases from her office and reassigning them to other prosecutors. 

Scott also cut funding to her office, which still has not been restored. After winning in 2016, Ayala chose not to run for re-election in 2020. 

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