Talk about covering all bases with whomever Joe Biden might pick as his running mate.
Orlando Democratic U.S. Rep. Val Demings on Friday will join a national internet-based forum on gun violence, hosted by Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Moms Demand Action, two affiliated gun law reform groups strongly supported by Michael Bloomberg.
Demings, a two-term congresswoman whose name is increasingly appearing on lists of potential running mates for Biden, will be the sixth guest speaker in this “Demanding Women” conversation series billed as a discussion of gun violence in the time of a pandemic.
The previous five: California U.S, Sen. Kamala Harris, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Minnesota U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Georgia politician Stacey Abrams.
Together with Demings, and maybe two or three others, that’s pretty much the A-list of Democratic vice presidential candidates who various sources have indicated are being considered by Biden.
Demings first surfaced as a vice presidential candidate in January as she took a starring role in the impeachment hearings and trial of President Donald Trump.
She is a retired Orlando Police Chief. As such, she’s been an outspoken advocate of gun law reforms throughout her tenure, bringing the perspective of a 26-year law enforcement veteran whose career included many years as a street cop.
She’ll be joining Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, and John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, in the forum. It’s set to begin at noon Friday, live-streamed on Everytown’s Facebook page and Twitter account.
Specifically, the conversation will be a discussion about the role of Congress in combating the dual crises of gun violence and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biden has pledged he would pick a woman running mate. He’s also been under increasing pressure to pick an African American, though he has refused to rule out nonblacks such as Lujan Grisham, Klobuchar, and Warren.
His campaign, and a committee he set up, led by former Connecticut U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd, Delaware U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Apple executive and longtime Biden aide Cynthia Hogan, have been carefully and quietlyvetting vice presidential candidates for a month now. They have not publicly expressed any preferences.