Presumptive Democratic Senate nominee Val Demings pressed her case to Black Democrats in Jacksonville Tuesday evening.
Demings, who is from Jacksonville, enjoyed a homecoming reception as a “Jacksonville native daughter” in a Zoom call with the Duval County Democratic Black Caucus, a call made from a car, presumably in Washington.
The Congresswoman and former Police Chief from Orlando said the caucus was indispensable to her “journey,” saying that despite living in Central Florida, her “heart” and her family are in Duval.
“I’m on a mission to make sure every man, every woman, every boy, every girl, if they grew up like me or if they didn’t, have the opportunity to fulfill their full potential in a country they say is the greatest in the world,” Demings said, describing her Senate campaign as a way to “make dreams come through for others.”
Demings offered a high-level speech full of exhortations and familiar Democratic talking points. She extolled the Affordable Care Act, public schools and teachers, a “woman’s right to choose,” and the importance of Social Security and Medicare, as well as criminal justice reform.
Demings also bashed Sen. Marco Rubio.
“I’m running against somebody who picks winners or losers,” Demings said, her statement seemingly interrupted as she cast a vote on a different phone line. “I’m running against somebody who doesn’t show up for work.”
Duval County is key to the strategy of Demings, who hopes to avoid the fate of 2016 nominee Patrick Murphy, who performed disastrously in Duval on his way to a larger loss. Murphy did not prioritize Northeast Florida as a candidate, but Demings seems determined not to make that same mistake.
“I want you to know I don’t take it for granted,” Demings said, urging a future meeting in person to take questions from the group. “I want to earn your support.”