Who Is Val Demings? (Record & Background)

Val Demings is currently serving in the House of Representatives for Florida’s 10th and is playing the role of impeachment manager in Trump's Senate trial.
Rep. Val Demings (Official Photo)

Rep. Val Demings (Official Photo)

Who Is Val Demings?

Val Demings is a two-term Congresswoman representing Florida’s 10th District. On January 15, 2020 Demings was chosen by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to serve as an impeachment manager in the Senate trial of President Donald Trump.

Demings started her career in public service as a social worker in Jacksonville, Florida. In the mid-1980’s she relocated to Orlando to join the police force. Upon graduation from the police academy, she received the Trustee’s Award for Overall Excellence and subsequently served in “virtually every department”. A 27-year law enforcement officer, Demings made history as the first woman appointed Chief of Police of the Orlando Police Department.

Demings graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1979 and from Webster University with a Masters Degree in Public Administration in 1996.

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How Long Has Val Demings Been A Congresswoman?

Only the third Democrat to ever win Florida’s 10th District, Demings took the seat in 2016. She first ran for Congress in 2012 and narrowly lost the seat to Republican incumbent Daniel Webster. Recruited by Democrats to run again in 2014, Demings opted to seek the Orange County Mayor’s office. She dropped out of the mayoral race on May 20.

Prior to the 2016 election, the 10th district leaned slightly more Democrat after a court-order redistricting. Webster ran for reelection in a different district while Demings defeated Republican Thuy Lowe with nearly 65% of the vote.

What Committees Does Val Demings Belong To?

Demings is a member of the following Committees in the US House of Representatives:

  • US House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
    • Subcommittee on Intelligence Modernization and Readiness
    • Subcommittee on Defense Intelligence and Warfighter Support
  • US House Committee on the Judiciary
    • Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security (Vice-Chair)
    • Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law
  • US House Committee on Homeland Security
    • Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security

She also serves on the following Caucuses:

  • US House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
  • Congressional Black Caucus
  • New Democrat Coalition
  • Congressional Caucus for Women’s’ Issues
  • Congressional Caucus for Black Women and Girls
  • Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus
  • House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force (Vice-Chair)
  • Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus
  • Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus
  • Law Enforcement Caucus
  • Congressional Florida Ports Caucus

Val Demings’s Record As A Congresswoman

Guns:
Demings, who has an “F” rating with the National Rifle Association, supported the Gun Violence Restraining Order Act of 2017. The legislation provides for lawful, temporary confiscation of firearms from people who may be a threat to themselves or others. Demings said, “We must do what we can to make sure law enforcement has the tools it needs to more effectively perform the ever more challenging job of keeping us a safe nation. The Gun Violence Restraining Order Act is a major step to doing just that.”

Impeachment of President Trump:
On January 15, 2020 Demings was appointed as an impeachment manager by Speaker Pelosi. Tasked to present “the case for impeachment,” Demings said, “The president has been given an incredible responsibility and opportunity to serve the American people. Instead, he has abandoned his oath of office and the Constitution, choosing to put his interest before the national interest. The evidence against the president is overwhelming. The president abused his office to try to cheat in the 2020 election, and then covered it up. He shall be held accountable.” On the opening day of the trial Demings argued that the Senate should subpoena relevant State Department documents that the President would not release during the House impeachment inquiry.”

As a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the Intelligence Committee Demings participated in public hearings, and closed door depositions, regarding the matters that led to President Trump’s impeachment. Demings said, “I am a descendant of slaves, who knew that they would not make it, but dreamed and prayed that one day I would make it. So despite America’s complicated history, my faith is in the Constitution. I’ve enforced the laws, and now I write the laws. Nobody is above the law.”

Mueller Report Hearings:
Demings was the final lawmaker to question special counsel Robert S. Mueller III during a seven-hour hearing. She asked Mueller if the President’s “answers showed that he wasn’t always being truthful.” Mueller agreed, “I would say generally.”

Legislation Sponsored:
Demings sponsored the following bills and Resolutions.

  • Vladimir Putin Transparency Act – The legislation would “strengthen the United States response to Russian interference by providing transparency about the corruption of Russian President Vladimir Putin.”
  • Resolution 549 Reaffirms the commitment to media diversity. The resolution promises to work with media entities and other stakeholders to develop solutions to eliminate barriers to media diversity.
  • Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2019 – The legislation, if passed, would amend the Internal Revenue Code to define concealable weapons and armor-piercing weapons as firearms under the National Firearms Act.
  • Secure Communities and Safe Schools Act – The bill would amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to disallow grant funds to be used to purchase firearms.
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When is Val Demings Up For Re-election?

Demings will compete for re-election on November 3, 2020. To date, she is not facing a Democratic primary challenger. Individuals are required to file for candidacy by April 24, 2020.

Currently, Republicans Kirk Troen and Angela Marie Walls-Windhauser will face-off in the district’s primary contest on August 18, 2020. The winner of the Republican primary will challenge Demings for the seat.

In the 2016 presidential election, President Trump lost District 10 to Hillary Clinton by 27 points, 62%-35%.

Personal Details About Val Demings

  • Age: 62
  • Birthday: March 12, 1957
  • Religion: Protestant
  • Spouse: Jerry Demings
  • Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
  • Education: Florida State University, BA and Webster University Orlando, MPA
  • Twitter: @RepValDemings

The Rantt Rundown

Congresswoman Val Demings, who represents Florida’s 10th District, spent nearly three decades as a law enforcement professional before coming to Congress. An impeachment manager in the Senate trial of President Trump, her experience as a crime fighter combined with active participation in House impeachment hearings uniquely qualified her to participate in a well rounded, prosecutorial team.

Demings is a gun safety advocate and has sponsored legislation to keep guns out of the hands of those unqualified to own them. Up for reelection in 2020 in a Democratic-leaning district, she is a favored incumbent.

Rantt 101 // Congress / House Democrats / Impeachment