Val Demings to run for Orange County mayor

Demings to run against Mayor Teresa Jacobs

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Former Orlando police chief Val Demings entered the race for Orange County Mayor on Tuesday, 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.

"For months, I've been asked by countless citizens to run for Orange County Mayor," Demings said in a press release. "They want a leader who will stand up for them."

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.

Soon after her announcement on Tuesday, Demings was critical of Jacobs' job performance.

"Like many (citizens), I too, have grown disappointed with the forgotten promises of the current administration," Demings said.

Jacobs, admitting she was surprised Demings was running, shot back at allegations that she didn't deliver on campaign promises to run an ethical and transparent government.

"I totally disagree with that," she said. "We've kept a record of everything I've committed to do. Nobody's perfect, but I am extremely proud."

Jacobs questioned Demings qualifications for the job, as well.

"I've spent 12 years in local government and four years before that as a private citizen involved in local issues," Jacobs said. "I would not run for sheriff because I know I'm not qualified to run for sheriff."

Demings plans an official launch rally at Lake Eola on Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m.

Other candidates running for Orange County Mayor include Dunel A. Cadely and Nathaniel Wren Glover, both of Orlando.

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