Val Demings furious about being featured in John Mica mailer

John MIca mailer

Democratic U.S. Congressional candidate Val Demings said Wednesday she was shocked and disappointed to find Republican U.S. Rep. John Mica had used her picture and a quote in a campaign mailer and said she in no way endorses him.

Democrat “Stephanie Murphy is the right choice for the people of District 7. She will be a fresh, strong voice for Central Florida in Washington,” Demings said in a release issued by her campaign Wednesday.

Demings is running in Florida’s 10th Congressional District. Mica and Murphy are running next door in Florida’s 7th Congressional District.

Yet Demings had something nice to say about Mica in June, and that led to a starring role in Mica’s mailer, which went out in CD 7, covering north central and northeast Orange County and Seminole County.

Demings is a former Orlando police chief and in June, at a congressional debate sponsored by Tiger Bay Club of Central Florida, she commended her husband, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, current Orlando “Police Chief John Mina and Congressman John Mica for really pushing” to get Orlando back onto the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s list of top-priority cities for anti-terrorism funding for law enforcement agencies.

So there she is: in a pink mailer sent out by Mica’s campaign, Demings is featured with Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and former Orlando Sentinel managing editor and former editorial page editor Jane Healy saying nice things about Mica. The front of the mailer has pictures of the trio with the headline: “JOHN MICA Earns Respect of Leading Women We Respect In Both Parties!”

The rear of the mailer has the pictures again, with quotes from them saying nice things about Mica.

Jacobs is a Republican and Healy and Demings are Democrats.

“I’m shocked and disappointed by this mailer. It is no secret public safety has been my top priority for decades,” Demings stated in her news release. “While I applaud the efforts to return funds to fight terrorism in Orange County, in no way do I endorse his campaign for Congress. For Congressman Mica to take my statement on public safety, and use it for political gain is wildly misleading and a disservice to voters.”

There was no immediate response from Mica’s campaign about Demings’ objection.

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].


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