Hey, we just got back from Lake Eola where former Orlando Police Chief and congressional hopeful Val Demings brought out the RED-DRESS-AND-PEARLS to officially announce her candidacy for Orange County Mayor! Though the turnout may have rivaled even that of tanning machine Charlie Crist for governor back in November
, the speech itself was pretty down-the-middle in its municipal vagueness, centering mostly on her support of public safety and public servants like her husband Jerry and all the hot calendar firefighters. That's not to say it wasn't punchy and exciting, because Val is generally punchy and exciting in all of her deliveries these days, but – seeing as these are early times and the petitions for her candidacy are only now being gathered – she seemed to steer clear of the reddest meat (Jacobs' lying fingers and lying commissioners who fingered back) and decided instead to play up her record. WHICH, we might add, is kind of a smart move considering that Jacobs went all batshit to the media this week
when she said "I wouldn't run for sheriff" and proceeded to make everyone feel like she was Eva Peron and nobody understood how hard her job was. Demings wanted to remind everyone that she had in fact managed to cut millions from the OPD budget during her short tenure, saving some 40 percent without firing police officers. She's no stranger to "making tough decisions and leading," Teresa. Also, she was the first woman ever to hold that position and she doesn't take shit from anyone.
Things she's for: Less red tape, high-speed rail, union types and organizers (apparently), LEADERSHIP, and speeches that raise in tone every 14 seconds.
Anyway, we bumped into her for a second (as we have at about 114,896 political events in the past six months as she flirted with this idea), and she grabbed our hand, pulled her head back, looked us deep into the eyes and said, "'Bout time, right?" YES SHE DID. Here's what it looked like just before that happened.
OH, BUT WAIT, DON'T GO. We were kinda skeeved out by this guy we saw lingering in the background looking like a sniper while wearing a Duck Dynasty ball cap atop his mullet and sporting a t-shirt that read "ANYONE BUT DEMINGS IN 2016." At first we were all, "racist racisty raceman maybe having gun," but then our new intern Fred went up and buttonholed him for a second for his take on things. IT'S ONLY FAIR. Also, Demings (Val) is running in 2014, so we weren't even sure where to go with that (except maybe Jerry's next race).
“Val, she’s taking the blow because she’s Jerry’s wife," said Pat Reilly and his ball cap. "And I’m an ex-employee of the Orange County Sheriff’s office. I worked with Jerry Demings for a number of years, and he demoted and transferred me and my spouse, and forced early termination. He made it personal so I just wanted to come down and show my non-support.”
Thanks for that! Anyway, the race is on. Of course we'll be talking about it all year. WE CAN'T WAIT!