ORLANDO, Fla. — Rep. Val Demings of Orlando, who was on now-President Joe Biden's short list for a running mate last year, is very strongly considering a run for the U.S. Senate, Spectrum News has confirmed.

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Democratic sources told Spectrum News that Demings, the first Black woman to serve as chief of police at the Orlando Police Department, will likely try to run for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio's seat instead of making a bid for Florida governor.

“Val is an impressive and formidable candidate, whose potential entrance would make the race against Rubio highly competitive,” a source with ties to the party's Senate strategy tells Spectrum News.

"I have received calls and texts and messages from people all over the state asking me to run because they feel that they are not represented and their voices are not heard,” Demings told MSNBC's Jonathan Capehart in April. “I want to go ... to the position where I can do the most good. And be the most effective and do the most work. My home state of Florida deserves that.”

Democrats see Demings as a top recruit to take on Sen. Marco Rubio — in what is expected to be one of the most high profile, expensive and closest Senate races next year. 

“It makes it not only exciting but truly puts this race on the map in a major way,” said Christian Ulvert, a Democratic Strategist based in South Florida.

Demings declined to confirm she’s running, but tweeted she’s encouraged by the messages she’s received today.

“She’s someone who is tough but compassionate and that’s what our state needs,” Ulvert said.

Politico reported that an adviser for Demings said the congresswoman has grown increasingly upset at what she sees as obstruction by Republican leaders in the Senate like Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The publication said Demings has not made a final decision on a Senate bid but plans to by next month. Recently, she's taken several shots at Rubio on Twitter.

If she ultimately runs, Ulvert said he hopes the party can unify behind Demings early to avoid a primary. Several other high profile Democrats have also been considering a run. 

“The earlier we can really build that synergy at every level of the ballot, but also give her that opportunity to consolidate those resources, gives us a bigger and better advantage,” he said.

Rubio won’t be easy to beat. The two-term Senator has considerable sway with the state’s influential Latino population, which tilted Republican in the last election. 

“Part of the problem is erosion for Democrats in some places that are heavily Latino,” said Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

"Rubio is not the kind of candidate who you would expect that would struggle with Latino voters," he said. "Whether it’s Demings or somebody else, how are they going to assemble the kind of coalition you need to beat Rubio?"

The political environment may also be more favorable for Rubio. 

“The president’s party often struggles in the midterm, so that helps Rubio,” Kondik said.

Senator Rubio is welcoming the competition.

“There’s going to be a lot of Democrats running," Rubio said on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. "Whoever gets out of the primary, we look forward to the campaign, we have a good story to tell.” 

Demings has served in Congress representing Florida's 10th District since 2017; the district covers most of the western side of metro Orlando. She also is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. 

Demings came into the national spotlight when she served as a House impeachment manager during the first impeachment of former President Donald Trump.

Her husband, Jerry, currently serves as mayor of Orange County and previously was the sheriff of Orange County.