On Thursday, June 3rd, current City of Miami Commissioner Ken Russell announced in a series of videos on Twitter that he plans to challenge Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio in 2022.
Starting as a small business owner selling surfboards and watersport equipment, Russell launched his political career when he ran for District 2 Commissioner in 2015. In this long-shot campaign, he was able to beat well-funded candidates;in 2019, he won re-election for the seat.
In 2018, Russell attempted to run in the congressional race to replace then Florida Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, but he dropped out early on in the Democratic primary field since making the crowded ballot would force him to resign from his commission seat whether he won or lost.
Now facing term limits in 2023, he has made the jump to Congress and is expected to face competition within the Democratic Party from candidates including U.S. Representative Val Demings —who has not formally entered the race but has heavily hinted at the possibility and garnered endorsements —Edward Abud, Allen Ellison, Josue Larose, Allek Pastrana and Joshua Weil.
In his announcement, Russell outlined his support towards acting on gun violence and police reform, reforming the filibuster, passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and pushing for immigration reform.