Val Demings’ support from D.C. leaders continues to boil in CD 10 campaign

Val Demings, Fatima Rita Fahmy, Bob Poe, Geraldine Thompson

Former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings‘ support from Washington D.C.’s Democratic leaders continues to draw angry backlashes and clashes with her three Democratic rivals in Florida’s Congressional District 10 race.

According to The Orlando Political Observer, a private meeting Demings held Wednesday with black clergy, featuring U.S. Congress Democratic Black Caucus PAC Chair U.S. Gregory Meeks of New York, led to a hostile confrontation with state Sen. Geraldine Thompson, a Demings rival angry that Meeks came to campaign for Demings in Thompson’s district.

Demings personally barred the door, preventing Thompson from getting in, while the two exchanged angry words, according to Frank Torres‘ news blog.

That led to a strong denunciation of Demings — and Washington endorsements of her — from another Democrat in the CD 10 race, Bob Poe, a former Florida Democratic Party chairman. “It’s inexcusable and undemocratic,” Poe stated.

The scene may be repeated Thursday when U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi attends a private fundraiser in Orlando to support Demings and also Stephanie Murphy, a Democrat running in Seminole County-based Florida’s 7th Congressional District.

Thompson and the fourth Democrat in the race, Fatima Rita Fahmy, who already has crashed a previous Pelosi visit for Demings in March, leading to a hostile, finger-in-your-face argument with Demings during a press conference, both say they will be there. Poe has said he has something in mind for tonight’s fundraiser.

Fahmy also crashed a private Demings’ meeting with Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico and Latino leaders of Orlando in February.

Thompson, Fahmy and Poe have repeatedly tried to characterize Demings as Washington’s pick for Orlando and charged that she will owe Washington leaders if elected. Poe even has suggested such in advertising. Demings replies that she earned Washington’s backing with her close, long shot run in 2012 when the district was still strongly Republican, and that she remains as Orlando-oriented as she always has been.

The matter came to a head again Wednesday at a debate held by the League of Women Voters of Orange County when Fahmy and Thompson quickly turned on Demings over her Washington backing, accusing her of being beholden to special interests.

“I’m kind of the poster child of the outside candidate,” Fahmy said to open the forum. “I’ve prided myself on having been a little bit of a thorn in the side of the D.C. establishment, who has seen fit to put their thumb on the scale in our local election here in District 10, the same way they did in the presidential primary level. I’ve called them out on every turn, and I’ll continue to do that.”

Said Thompson: “They have endorsed a candidate in this race where there are four qualified Democrats. And I’m holding up the mirror to the Democratic Party that doesn’t know what the word ‘democratic’ means. Democratic means that the people decide. It’s not we-the-party, we-the-power-brokers, we-the-elite.”

Replied Demings: “I was recruited (in 2011) by the DCCC because they were convinced they needed to change Washington. If they were going to do that, they needed to change the way candidates are recruited. I have been recruited by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and launched my campaign for this cycle in August 2015, yes, with the support of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and several other organizations that represent thousands of people here on the ground, so I am honored to have their support.”

Scott Powers

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 [email protected]


  • Edward Torres

    August 11, 2016 at 11:18 am

    The Church Clergy involvement with politics should be in form of demanding Schools to open Daily Session in a Moment of Silent Prayer. Endorse the Academic Freedom to discuss Intelligent Design and Creation. The State of Florida leaves it to the local County School Districts to implement curriculum. I have only been in Orange County for two years and the Orange County School Board did not know a moment of silence was legal. God is doing great things with his people and the so called church clergy are missing the boat. Governor Rick Scott has asked our office to respond to your correspondence about religion. On behalf of the governor, we would like to thank you for contacting us.
    Thank you for your reply. As stated in the previous email, the following is the specific statute regarding this issue.
    Section 1003.45 Permitting study of the Bible and religion; permitting brief meditation period.—
    (1) The district school board may install in the public schools in the district a secular program of education including, but not limited to, an objective study of the Bible and of religion.
    (2) The district school board may provide that a brief period, not to exceed 2 minutes, for the purpose of silent prayer or meditation be set aside at the start of each school day or each school week in the public schools in the district We hope this information has been helpful. If you have any questions or we can be of any assistance please contact me by phone at 850-245-9323 or by email at [email protected].
    Sincerely,Ashley Palelis

    • Edward Torres

      August 11, 2016 at 11:20 am

      ARE YOU PREPARED TO WASTE TAX PAYER DOLLARS WITH A CIVIL ACTION IN FLORIDA STATE COURT. How do we settle among Christians without court action we offer a way out. First Grievance Failure to Educate Parents and Staff of a Moment of Silence, Settlement: a letter sent to every parent, teacher and principal acknowledging your willingness to support any Student and Parent, Teacher, and Principal in any Orange County School or Charter Affiliated Schools who want to implement the Student Activity of a Moment of Silence 1 to 2 minutes daily after the Pledge of Allegiance like you open your School Board Sessions Monthly. Final Grievance your are choosing to practice the religion of Atheism a world with no God and the Religion of Secular Humanism a need for no God in the Science Classroom and in other areas of instruction by not training teachers and notifying parents and student and offering clarification on the knowledge of God as our Creator ‘and our Intelligent Design allowable under State Law. Settlement: Academic Freedom allow the teachers and the students the freedom to discuss the relevance of God in any classroom discussion when in the course of instruction and subject discussions. This School Board has the option of passing a resolution for the Referendum Question if they doubt they are serving the will of the people by seeking science curriculum and books that include Intelligent Design, Creation, and Evolution. Outline a plan to provide training teachers on ways to use the Bible as Literature and History in class room discussions and to enhance instruction. The Bible can read as literature instead of Shakespeare or the elective of a Bible Curriculum can be offered to satisfy the students interest. I expect an official response by the 1st week of August before seeking civil action. Only one Lady took the Bible out of Public Education I will have 12 signers of this petition and we know what God can do with 12.…/75/

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