Earlier this month, Democratic Senate candidate and Florida Rep. Val Demings made an outlandish claim about her relationship to the police during an interview. Now, Florida sheriffs are firing back.
In an interview with WPEC published on Aug. 17, Demings was asked about her opponent, incumbent Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, and his claim that the law enforcement community does not support her.
“Look, I don’t just support the police,” Demings said. “I am the police.”
According to The Washington Free Beacon, Demings formerly served as the police chief for the Orlando Police Department. She has attempted to use this law enforcement connection to her advantage, but many Florida sheriffs aren’t buying it.
Marion County sheriff Billy Woods told the Free Beacon that Demings “uses her title as chief to further her political agenda,” but he said she “certainly doesn’t use it to back law enforcement when she votes.”
Brevard County sheriff Wayne Ivey said Demings “took an oath to protect and serve, an oath she somehow forgot when she went to Washington and decided to vote with Nancy Pelosi 100 percent of the time.”
Bradford County sheriff Gordon Smith expressed a similar sentiment. He said Demings’ six years as a United States representative proved she “is no longer the police and didn’t have our backs when it counted most.”
“As a law enforcement officer, I made a promise to my community to protect and serve,” Smith said.
“Our representatives in Washington promise to support us in that mission, but Val Demings has failed to live up to that promise.”
In a June 2020 interview with CBS, Demings refused to denounce Minneapolis City Council members seeking to abolish the city’s police department.
“I do believe that everyone has a right to look at any proposal that is put forth because there desperately needs to be change,” Demings said.
“I also believe that the council is being very thoughtful in terms of looking at all of the services that police provide … The council, along with law enforcement authorities and other community leaders, will sit down and look at everything and come out with a plan that allows them to keep Minneapolis safe but also bring the community and the police together in a much needed and long overdue way.”
At the time, Demings was considered a contender to become then-presidential candidate Joe Biden’s running mate. After all, she met the intersectional requirements Democrats arbitrarily placed on the position.
In the end, another black woman beat her out for the job despite implying Biden was a segregationist straight to his face.
Demings won the Democratic primary and will challenge Rubio in November, the Free Beacon reported. But if the opinions of sheriffs are any indication, her bid for Senate may end just as unceremoniously as her hopes of becoming vice president.
Overall, 56 out of 66 sheriffs in Florida have endorsed Rubio in the race. Demings can dismiss their concerns all she wants, but it may not be a winning strategy for her campaign.
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