TALLAHASSEE — It was noteworthy to some when former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings was making the rounds at Florida Democrats’ annual fundraising conference in Westin last month.
That’s because her name is surfacing as a potential running mate for Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Charlie Crist.
And with the Florida Supreme Court expected to decide whether to order Florida’scongressional districts re-drawn this year, national Democrats are also in communications with her camp to see if she’d be interested in running again against U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster, theWinter Garden Republican who narrowly defeated her for the seat in 2012.
Webster‘s district was one of two that a Leon County circuit judged found unconstitutionallast week, based on the way state legislators packed the district in Lake, Orange and Polk counties with additional white, Republican voters. The net effect: Webster squeaked by Demings by about 11,000 votes equal to 3.4 percent of the turnout.
Demings may have shocked Orlando-area Democrats in May when she abandoned a late-launched challenge to Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, a popular Republican. But she hasn’t stopped being an attractive option for a party with a dire shortage of bench talent.
Demings said in a text Monday she was waiting to see what the new congressional district would look like, but also echoed the same line of attack Crist and his campaign have been lobbing at incumbent GOP Gov. Rick Scott for the last week.
“No one knows what will ultimately happen with District 10, but regardless of the candidate, the citizens of District 10 deserve to be represented by a person of their choice, not the choice of the GOP in Tallahassee,” she said. “My priority now is to see Florida become a model for fairness and equality and no longer a place where backroom deals between the privileged few rule.”
Val Demings sees her stock rising, and growing electoral options – Orlando Sentinel.