Orlando-based congressional candidate Val Demings has grabbed the biggest of Democratic congressional establishment endorsements with that of U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
In a statement Monday, Pelosi of California endorsed Demings in Florida’s 10th Congressional District, a place the Democrats hope to wrestle away from longtime Republican representation.
With a new strong-Democratic lean to the electorate, the CD 10 race has become highly competitive among some top-name local Democrats and may yet attract more.
“Val Demings is the exact kind of public servant we need in Congress to help solve some of the toughest issues facing our country today,” Pelosi stated in the release. “She is not one to sit on the sidelines. Her strong record of working with others and getting things done speaks for itself.”
Pelosi faces Democratic primary competition from state Sen. Geraldine Thompson, lawyer Fatima Rita Fahmy and businessman and former state Democratic Party Chairman Bob Poe. In addition, Democratic U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown of Jacksonville is talking about switching from her CD 5 to run in CD 10, which has much of her historical constituency.
The incumbent, Republican U.S. Rep. Dan Webster of Winter Garden, said in December he is contemplating moving to Congressional District 11 though he still has not announced his decision.
His district, as redrawn in the fall under court order, includes much of western Orange County and west Orlando, including several large African-American and Hispanic communities that previously were in CD 5 and now are in CD 10.
It’s Demings’ second big national endorsement in a few days. On Friday the Democratic women’s political group EMILY’s List endorsed her.
In response to the Pelosi endorsement, Demings stated, “Leader Pelosi is a champion for working families throughout Florida and across the nation. She is deeply committed to improving the quality of life for everyone who works hard and plays by the rules. I am honored to have her support.”