Freshmen Congress members from Orlando get top choices for committee seats – Florida Politics

Freshmen Congress members from Orlando get top choices for committee seats

Central Florida’s three freshmen in Congress all got top-choice A-list committee assignments Tuesday, with Val Demings of Orlando serving on the Homeland Security Committee, Darren Soto of Orlando on the Agriculture Committee, and Stephanie Murphy of Winter Park on the Armed Services Committee.

Congressional leaders announced their choices for freshmen and others to fill spots on the top committees Tuesday. More committee assignments are likely late this week and early next week. While “top choice” often is something like appropriations, which is rarely if ever available to freshmen, incoming members of Congress also have their top realistic choices.

For Demings, a former Orlando police chief who was part of much of the post 9-11 Homeland Security planning and implementation for Orlando, that was the Committee on Homeland Security, according to her office.

The same is true for Murphy, who spent several years as a strategy analyst in the U.S. Department of Defense.

And Soto’s top pick was agriculture according to his office, given that his district includes the huge cattle ranches of Osceola County and many of the huge citrus groves of Polk County.

Murphy’s appointment also gives her a close look at federal spending available for the military’s modeling and simulation centers in Orlando, as well as for the state’s large military presence.

“Florida is home to numerous military installations and hundreds of thousands of military personnel, veterans, and their families. I’ll use my previous experience at the Department of Defense and my position on the Armed Services Committee to support our men and women in uniform and strengthen our national security,” she stated in a news release. “From cybersecurity to terrorism, we must ensure our service members have the resources and training they need to adapt to rapidly-evolving threats, and I will work with both Democrats and Republicans to help keep our country safe.”

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


  1. Confratullations! I hope you guys could move things forward and bring prosperity, efficiency, and most importantly jobs to our beloved Florida!

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