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Laborers’ Union local 517 backs Val Demings in CD 10 race

Laborers’ Union Local 517 has endorsed Democrat Val Demings bid in Florida’s 9th Congressional District, her campaign announced Wednesday.

The Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 517 represents, among others, a variety of Orange County public employees ranging from cooks and janitors to auto mechanics and equipment operators.

“I’ve known Chief Val Demings for a long time, and she’s always been someone who not only says the right things, but more importantly, does them,” Dave Brier, Local 517’s business manager stated in a news release from Demings campaign. “We are proud to support her in Florida’s 10th Congressional District. We know that she will continue to fight for us, by advocating for living wage legislation and safer working conditions for laborers throughout Central Florida.”

Demings, a former Orlando police chief, is in a battle for the Democratic nomination to run in CD 10, which covers west Orlando and west Orange County and is currently represented by Republican U.S. Rep. Dan Webster, who is now running in Florida’s 11th Congressional District because of redistricting.

The other Democrats running are lawyer Fatima Rita Fahmy, businessman Bob Poe and state Sen. Geraldine Thompson. Businesswoman Thuy Lowe has qualified to run on the Republican side.

“The work the union does is essential to protecting the rights of working families,” Demings stated in the release. “I’m so grateful to have the support of the Laborers Local 517. I am proud to stand with these workers, many of whom I consider friends, and support legislation that provides livable wages, necessary benefits and keeps people safe while they are on the job.”

Written By

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 Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused.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

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