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Jerry Demings, Val Demings endorse Buddy Dyer’s re-election

‘He’s got my trust,’ Jerry Demings said.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer‘s re-election campaign on Thursday rolled out endorsements from Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and his wife U.S. Rep. Val Demings, for Dyer’s bid to be re-elected to a fifth term.

Jerry Demings’ endorsement in particular offers a new precedent for Dyer. In the past the mayors of Orlando and Orange County always publicly spoke about having close relationships, and often that played itself in policy. Yet they always stopped short of endorsing each other, in part because until this year they’ve been of different parties.

The Demings and Dyer are all Democrats, as are the other candidates for Orlando mayor this year, though officially it is a non-partisan race.

Dyers’ oppostion in the November, 2019, election comes from Orlando City Commissioner Sam Ings, non-profit executive Aretha Simons, and Shantele Bennett.

Dyers’ greatest potential weakness might be the perception that the African-American community centered in Orlando’s west side has not prospered or progressed like he rest of the city.

Ings, Simons, and Bennett all are African-American, all from the west side.

But so are the Demings, and each has dominated west side vote totals in their own elections.

The Demings each sat for two 30-second Dyer campaign videos apiece, extolling Dyer and his policies. Dyers campaign released them Thursday.

Both Jerry Demings and Val Demings are former Orlando Police Chiefs. Val Demings was appointed to that post by Dyer. Jerry Demings also is the former Orange County Sheriff. They both included subtle reminders to Orlandoans of their law enforcement backgrounds, specifically mentioning it in one video apiece, and praising Dyer for making Orlando safe in the other videos.

“Orlando is a city on the move. And it’s only getting safer, more inclusive and exciting,” Val Demings says in one of her videos. “That’s because under Mayor Buddy Dyer we have a leader with the vision, the vision to invest in neighborhoods, in new and safe transportation, and in economic growth in every part of Orlando.”

“You can’t transform a city with politics. You do it by bringing people together, pushing forward a shared vision, and creating a safe, innovative and exciting place for people to  live and work,” Jerry Demings says in one of his. “That’s how Mayor Buddy Dyer has transformed Orlando as Mayor, and how he is leading every corner of the city into the 21st Century.

“He’s got my trust,” Jerry Demings adds.

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 scott@floridapolitics.com.

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