Because Florida Rep. Val Demings (D) will be challenging Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) for his seat in the Senate, a number of congressional hopefuls are expected to position themselves to replace Demings. The first candidate has emerged, and Natalie Jackson (D) is hoping to keep the seat blue.
A civil rights lawyer and Navy veteran, Jackson has officially filed to run for Congress, and she kicked off her campaign at a vigil held Tuesday night in downtown Orlando to mark the anniversary of George Floyd’s death. Calling it a “reflective decision,” Jackson asserted that her background as a civil rights attorney is what makes her “best suited in the legislature.” Moreover, she calls her congressional run “something I’m called to do.”
Demings has served Florida’s 10th Congressional district since 2017, and the district is considered to be solidly Democratic.
Speaking of her practice, Jackson expressed that she travels “around the country with Ben Crump on these criminal justice cases and while we’re getting justice for the families, we need to be expanding into policy and legislation.” “What we saw with George Floyd, we saw him family get justice in court,” she commented, adding that “that five minutes of justice didn’t address the entire criminal justice system, nor did it address the economic inequality in Orange County.”
Jackson also expressed that “those are the things that activists – and I like to call myself an activist – and civil rights attorneys should do.” “We need to bring about that type of change,” and “so I feel I can be best suited in the legislature to do that.”
Former State Attorney Aramis Ayala (D) and state Senator Randolph Bracy (D) are expected to announce their Congressional runs.
Jackson credits working with the Andre Hill case as what sparked her interest in running for Congress to change legislation that ensures justice.
“While I think a lot of people who get into these races, they say they’re excited, I’m really prayerful about it,” she affirmed, adding that “it’s not something I wanted to do,” but “I feel it’s something I’m called to do.”