A national group founded to fight to preserve and expand Social Security and Medicare benefits has put boxing gloves on Val Demings and wants her to fight with it in Congress.

The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare announced Tuesday it has endorsed Demings, the Orlando Democrat, in her race for Congress in Congressional District 10.

Max Richtman, the committee’s national president and CEO, came to Apopka’s Fran Carlton Recreation Center Tuesday to make the announcement and meet with Demings and a handful of seniors interested in preserving and expanding those programs.

“This is an important race. Chief Demings needs to be in Congress. She needs your help. We need her,’ Richtman said.

Demings is in a crowded Democratic race for the nomination in CD 10, which covers most of western Orange County. Also in the race are state Sen. Geraldine Thompson of Orlando, former Florida Democratic Party chairman Bob Poe and Orlando lawyer Fatima Fahmy.

Since incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster left the district to run instead in neighboring Congressional District 11, there are no Republicans filed to run in CD 10. The district flipped from being Republican-leaning to being heavily Democratic with last fall’s redistricting.

Richtman said his organization, founded in 1982 by former U.S. Rep. James Roosevelt, son of Social Security founder President Franklin Roosevelt, uses interviews and questionnaires to rate candidates. Demings, he said, got a very rare 100 percent score in his organization’s views on Social Security and Medicare.

Richtman highlighted several points in which Demings scored well in the view go his organization, including her support for a new way to calculate cost-of-living adjustments so that they reflect seniors’ lifestyles, and getting Medicare expanded to include dental, vision and hearing health benefits.

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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