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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Three candidates are currently in the running to represent Florida’s 10th Congressional District, which includes west Orange County.
More than 741,000 people live in the area.
[LIVE RACE RESULTS: Scroll to bottom of story to see all race returns starting at 7 p.m. on Nov. 3]
Use the interactive map below to see if your neighborhood is included in District 10.
Prior to incumbent Rep. Val Demings winning the 2016 election, the House seat had been held by Republicans. Demings is seeking another term and faces a Republican and write-in candidate in the November election.
Here’s what you need to know about the candidates:
Vennia Francois (R)
Francois is an attorney who is a Central Florida native and first-generation American. Her parents moved from the Bahamas to the U.S. in 1971, according to her biography. Francois graduated with a law degree from Florida A&M College of Law. She began her political career as an intern for Rep. John Mica and then for former Sen. Mel Martinez’s office, where she later joined the staff as a policy advisor. Francois worked for Lockheed Martin as a contract attorney, where she was assigned to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Her key issues include job creation, accessible health care and protecting veterans, among others. Learn more about Francois and her platform here.
Val Demings (D)
Congresswoman Demings, born in Jacksonville, is the youngest of seven children. She was the first to graduate college and worked as a social worker before her 27-year career with the Orlando Police Department. In 2007, she served as the police chief, becoming the first woman to hold that position. According to GovTrack.US, she sponsors bills primarily focused on issues like crime and law enforcement, government operations and politics and emergency management. She’s a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Women’s Caucus and New Democrat Coalition. In 2019, she was appointed by the Speaker of the House to serve as an impeachment manager in the impeachment trial for President Donald Trump. She and her husband, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, have three sons and five grandchildren. You can read more about Demings' campaign here.
Sufiyah Yasmine (WRI)
Born in Maine, Yasmine completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Maine in 2007. According to her campaign website, she served as a certified Guardian ad Litem in Miami and then in Polk County. Her work to find missing girls landed her in Central Florida in 2015. She continues to assist in the prevention and recovery of missing and exploited girls through Judicial Circuit 10 while living in Orlando. She’s an independent and has no party affiliation. She especially wants voters to know she’s not a politician. She says she’s a peace educator who has dedicated more than 20 years of her life to volunteering and advocating for children. She believes in demilitarizing the police, health care for all, environmental protections, and livable wages. You can read more about her plans if elected here.
Election Day is Nov. 3.