Val Demings is one of 16 Democratic congressional candidates nationally, including three in Florida, to be picked for support by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Red To Blue program, signaling stronger financial and organizational backing.
In announcing her selection for the program, Demings declared that her early grassroots support in run for Congressional District 10 made the difference.
She is running in a crowded Democratic primary in CD 10 seeking to take on incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster of Winter Garden. Other Democrats in the race include state Sen. Geraldine Thompson of Orlando, businessman Bob Poe and lawyer Fatima Rita Fahmy. Demings has had DCCC backing since entered the race last spring, and that has irked her Democratic rivals.
Because Florida’s redistricting last fall traded many of CD 10’s heavily-Republican areas in Lake County for heavily-Democratic areas in Orlando and Pine Hills, the DCCC now rates the district “safe Democrat.” As a result, Webster is mulling dropping out to run for Congress in another district, most likely Lake County-based Congressional District 11.
“Chief Demings is exactly the kind of leader we need in Washington to help cure Republican dysfunction and find solutions for hardworking families,” DCCC Chairman U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico stated in a press release issued by Demings campaign.
Luján met with Demings in Orlando last month.
“Chief Demings’ extensive record of public service, work to keep Central Floridians safe, and knack for problem-solving are exactly the reasons she has earned the respect of so many,” Luján stated. “Chief Demings will be a trusted fighter on their behalf in Washington.”
DCCC also named Annette Taddeo in Florida’s Miami-based Congressional District 26 and Randall Perkins in Palm Beach-based Congressional District 18 to the program. In addition, the DCCC named Congressional District 13 to the program, though it did not announce a candidate selection there. Charlie Crist and former Obama administration foreign policy advisor Eric Lynn are running there.
The DCCC is pledging both financial and organizational help to the candidates, as well as exposure to fundraisers.