Republican congressional candidate Vennia Francois is switching her candidacy to Florida’s 10th Congressional District from Florida’s 7th Congressional District, seeking to take on U.S. Rep. Val Demings rather than be in the multi-Republican field targeting U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy.
Francois switches to CD 10 after the leading Republican candidate there, Kirk Troen, withdrew his candidacy earlier this month.
That puts Francois in competition with Republican Angela Marie Walls-Windhauser, a perennial candidate for various offices, including for President this year.
Francois, 46, was living in CD 7, in Seminole County.
CD 10 covers western Orange County. The U.S. Constitution requires members of Congress to live in the state they represent, but not necessarily the district.
“I started this journey to bring your voice to Washington D.C. and support our president by taking back the House of Representatives. We have a great opportunity here to win and I’ve been asked to take on a new challenge. Developments here in District 10 have opened up new opportunities that I’ve had to seriously consider. Today I want to announce that I have decided to give the people a choice by running against Val Demings,” Francois said in a news release.
“I want my supporters in District 7 to know that I will be a Congresswoman for all of Central Florida,” she added.
Her departure from the CD 10 race still leaves a crowded field there. Other Republicans in that field include health care executive Chelle DiAngelus of Longwood, Orlando Dr. Leo Valentin, Lake Mary mortgage broker Richard Goble, Orlando businessman Yukong Zhao, Orlando lawyer Vennia Francois, DeBary City Councilman Stephen Bacon, and Orlando businessman Thomas Delia.
Francois, a lawyer who had interned for Murphy’s predecessor Rep. John Mica and later worked for Sen. Mel Martinez and his successor Sen. George LeMieux, is making her second bid for Congress. In 2018 she ran in CD 7 but lost in the Republican primary.
She’s pushing justice reform, keeping unemployment low, safeguarding Social Security, making the 2017 tax cuts permanent as well as on immigration reform, community development, and education.