Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs telephoned Val Demings last year to ask the former Orlando police chief whether she was going to run against Jacobs in 2014.
“She laughed,” Jacobs said. “She said that there wasn’t … I don’t remember the exact quote, but there wasn’t a chance that she would run. There was absolutely no way that she would run.'”
That might not be the case now, though.
Demings remembers the call a little differently and said she’s still considering all her political options, including a possible campaign against Jacobs next year.
When Jacobs called her in mid-October, it was a few weeks before the Nov. 6 congressional election that pittedDemocrat Demings against Republican Dan Webster.
“Mayor, I am running for Congress, and I’m running to win,” Demings recalls telling Jacobs, adding that at the time she expected to beat Webster and run for re-election to Congress next year.
That didn’t happen. Webster, R-Winter Garden, won.
Jacobs said she called at a time when speculation centered on what Demings might do if she lost.
When asked about her plans now, Demings says that, although she hasn’t ruled anything out, she’s also being recruited hard to take on Webster again.
But Democratic fundraiser Bob Poe said he has urged Demings to take on Jacobs, a Republican.
“She would be a great candidate, and I think she would win,” Poe said.
While Jacobs has struggled through several controversies during her first two years, Demings’ name is one of the few to emerge as a potential challenger to Jacobs in the nonpartisan election.