Florida Congressional District 10
With 108 of 144 precincts reporting, former Orlando Chief of Police Val Demings is on her way to Washington after a convincing win over Republican rival Thuy Lowe. Demings received 184,279 votes (64%) in a decisive victory over Lowe, who had 102,858 votes (36%).
"I am so humbled and grateful that the people of Central Florida chose me to represent them in Washington," said Congresswoman-elect Val Demings. "As the daughter of a maid and a janitor, my parents taught me the importance of hard work and believing in myself. Without those values I wouldn't be standing here today. I have made it my priority to protect and serve this community for the past three decades, and I look forward to continuing that work in Washington. We are living in critical times. After this tumultuous election season we need leaders in Washington who are going to bring people together not divide them, and that's what I plan to do."
Demings was the youngest of seven children born to a poor family in Jacksonville. Her mother Elouise was a maid, her father James a janitor. She attended segregated schools in the ’60s, graduated from Wolfson High School in Jacksonville the 70’s, and became the first in her family to earn a college degree from Florida State University.
After graduating from college, Demings worked as a social worker in Jacksonville for 18 months. In 1983, she applied for a job with the Orlando Police Department, and during her 27-year career she served in virtually every department before being appointed as Chief of OPD in 2007, the first woman to lead the department. As Chief, she was credited with reducing violent crime in Orlando by 40%. She retired from the position in 2011.
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