More evidence is emerging of a possible U.S. Senate run by Orlando’s former State Attorney Aramis Ayala, as a progressive Democratic political consulting outfit has registered a dozen internet domain names for her.
Ayala is the one-term State Attorney for Florida’s 9th Judicial Circuit who left office late last year after not seeking reelection
Asana Creative Strategy has registered such domains as “aramis4senate.com,” “ayalaforsenate.net,” “aramisayalaforussenate.com,” and variations of those. As of Monday morning, all the addresses redirect to the “ayala4florida.com” website, which advises, “We’re under construction. Please check back for an update soon.”
Ayala is testing the waters for a run against Republican Sen. Marco Rubio in the 2022 election, along with a small handful of other Democrats. However, no major candidates have officially entered the race.
She has not formally filed to run for the Senate and has made no public statements about her ambitions, except for a generic campaign-style website, and a campaign-style video she released on that site last week.
“I am exploring a run for the United States Senate, and if I do, I will be prepared to win,” she declares in the video.
Asana Creative, a digital and communications consulting firm, appears to have produced the video, as it is posted on the firm’s Facebook page.
The Democratic field for the 2022 Senate election is far from clear.
U.S. Rep. Val Demings of Orlando has acknowledged interest in running for either the U.S. Senate or Governor.
U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Winter Park is exploring a campaign for the U.S. Senate but has not confirmed anything publicly.
Former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Windermere has opened a U.S. Senate campaign account but said he had not decided yet to run. Former congressional candidate Allen Ellison of Wauchula has filed and declared his intention to run, but he has lost both his congressional elections by wide margins.
Ayala was a big underdog who won an upset election in Florida’s 9th Judicial Circuit in 2016 to serve Orange and Osceola counties. She became the first Black State Attorney in Florida’s history.
Her criminal justice reform-themed first term quickly became highly controversial when she announced she would refuse to seek the death penalty in her district. That made her a national hero of the anti-death penalty movement. It also made her a lightning rod of criticism in Florida, particularly from, but not limited to, Republicans. Eventually, the Florida Supreme Court ruled in a landmark decision in August 2017 that she could not refuse to seek the death penalty in capital murder cases, and she relented.