Democrat Val Demings, running against freshman GOP Rep. Daniel Webster in Florida’s 10th district, began airing her first television ad today.
The former Orlando police chief introduces voters to her story and frames herself as beyond partisanship in the spot. It’s a compelling story and the right message for a Democrat in the Republican-leaning district, but her chances of coming to Congress remain something of a long shot.
“My mother wore a maid’s uniform so I could go to college and train to wear a police uniform,” Demings says.
“And after 27 years, I earned the uniform of chief,” she says to camera. “When they call you chief, the hard decisions come to you. It wasn’t easy to cut our budget and cut violent crime at the same time. But when you put politics aside, you can get things done. That’s why I’m running for Congress.”
Demings faces a significant uphill battle against Webster, a well-liked longtime politician and a good match for the Republican-leaning Orlando-area district.
Though she is one of Democrats’ favorite challenger candidates of the cycle and is likely to have the national party’s support, Demings will have to knock Webster hard to win this race.
The spot is backed by $30,000 over the next week in Orlando. It’s not much, but Demings had $632,000 in cash on hand in late July, so she should be able to message adequately to voters over the course of the campaign.