State Sen. Randolph Bracy, Aramis Ayala, pursuing Central FL Congressional seat

The U.S. Capitol. Credit: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

State Sen. Randolph Bracy, a Black Democrat representing part of Orange County, had previously hinted at running for governor to unseat Ron DeSantis in 2022. In late March, he created a campaign-like website titled “Bracy for Florida.”

But now, Bracy said he’ll focus on filling the seat of U.S. Rep. Val Demings, an Orlando Democrat in Congress who has signaled that she’ll take on U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in 2022.

State Sen. Randolph Bracy, an Orlando Democrat. Credit: Colin Hackley

“The real fight for justice and equity is in Washington, D.C. where historic, consequential debates are happening right now,” Bracy said in a written statement Tuesday.

But on Wednesday, another candidate emerged: POLITICO reported that former state prosecutor Aramis Ayala will also try for Demings’ seat.

Ayala, also a Black Democrat, served one term as the state attorney for Orange and Osceola counties. She “earned statewide attention for her battle against then-Gov. Rick Scott over the death penalty, was initially looking at running for the Senate, but she changed directions after it became clear that Demings planned to run against Rubio,” POLITICO reported.

Aramis Ayala. Credit: Wikipedia.

“I believe this is where I can best serve,” Ayala told the media outlet.

Meanwhile, Bracy said, “I am the most experienced, prepared candidate to continue the work she’s (Demings) done in Congress. This district deserves a representative who understands the day to day needs of the people and can be effective on day 1.”

He added: “Our country needs urgent action on real police reform, on voting rights, on equity funding for jobs, healthcare, education and housing for long-neglected communities. That is the fight I took on in Tallahassee and I’m ready to lead on these issues right now in Congress.”

Bracy first served in the Florida House of Representatives and then was elected to the Florida Senate in 2016.

“I will take my message of justice and equity for all to every voter in this district…I will run the kind of modern, well-funded, people-driven campaign that this district expects from their Representative in Congress,” Bracy said.