Val Demings kicks off campaign for Orange County mayor

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Former Orlando police chief Val Demings kicked off her campaign on Thursday for  Orange County Mayor, pitting her against incumbent Teresa Jacobs in the November election.

Demings filed paperwork with the Orange County Supervisor of Elections office shortly after 11 a.m. on Tuesday, becoming the fourth candidate in the race.

Surrounded by more than 100 supporters, including her husband, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, Val Demings vowed to make Orange County better by listening to its citizens.

"Businesses can't grow. Children can't learn," she said. "Our community can't grow if our government doesn't work for us.

Demings served as Orlando's police chief -- the first woman to hold the position -- from 2007 to 2011.

She also ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2011 but lost against Daniel Webster.

Earlier this week, Jacobs questioned whether Demings' law enforcement career gave her experience to run an entire county with a $3.2 million budget.

Demings said she can, pointing her success cutting crime while also cutting police department spending.

She also said she created jobs at OPD.

"I hired employees. We created some new positions within the department," Demings said. "We expanded patrols in some areas."

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