Val Demings, 65, is a politician and former law enforcement officer who has been a congresswoman from Florida representing the Orlando area since 2017. She is seeking to dethrone Republican Senator Marco Rubio in November. While she has spent more than her opponent in this race, with her spending $47.2 million as opposed to Rubio’s $36.5 million, she is still trailing slightly behind.
She works on several Congressional committees including Homeland Security, House Judiciary and Intelligence. She also is a member of the Women’s Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus.
Prior to transitioning into politics, Demings was the first female police chief in Orlando from 2007 to 2011. Her husband, Jerry Demings, is the mayor of Orange County, Florida, and she has been the first lady of the area since 2018.
Since she served with the Orlando Police Department for 27 years, she receives a pension for her service and her congressional salary is at least $174,000 per year. Per OpenSecrets, her estimated net worth as of 2018 is about $825,000.
Early Life, Personal Life and Education
Valdez Venita Demings (nee Butler) was one of seven children born to James and Eloise Butler. She was born in Jacksonville, Florida, on March 12, 1957. Demings graduated with a degree in criminology from Florida State University in 1979. In 1999, Demings earned a master’s degree in public administration from Webster University in Orlando.
Her original career choice was social work, but she soon pivoted to work in law enforcement. She married fellow police officer-turned-politician Jerry Demings in 1988, and they have three children together — she is also a grandmother to five.
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