From her seat on the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee, freshman U.S. Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., has helped sent two federal safety grants to Central Florida. 

Demings announced this week that the federal government is sending almost $1 million to Port Canaveral as part of the Port Security Grant Program. The Central Florida Democrat was also able to get more than $129,250 to help the  Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando with its security. Demings heavily advocated for that grant, sending a letter to FEMA on the matter at the start of August and noting that the fund follow the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) guidelines. 

“I’m grateful that Central Florida is continuing to have success in our efforts to build a safer community. Central Florida thrives on travel and tourism and every resident and visitor has a right to live, work, travel, and enjoy some rest and relaxation in safety,” Demings said on Wednesday. 

“In addition, we will continue to aggressively fight to protect Central Florida from hate crimes and acts of terrorism,” Demings added. “Our safety has to be our top priority and I am grateful this funding is available to Central Florida.”

Demings has the luxury to be able to focus on her legislative work as she is guaranteed a second term in the House. After routing Wade Darius in the primary last week–beating him by almost 50,000 votes in 75 percent to 25 percent blowout–Demings is headed back to Capitol Hill with no opponents waiting for her in November. 

With her background in law enforcement, including more than 25 years service with the Orlando Police Department (OPD), Demings has increasingly becoming a favorite of Democrats at the national level. From 2007 through 2011, when she retired, Demings served as chief of the OPD. Back in 2012, Demings offered U.S. Rep. Dan Webster, R-Fla., a surprisingly close race. After the latest round of congressional redistricting, the district became far more palatable for Democrats. Webster packed his bags to run for an open seat up north while, despite some respectable opposition in the primary, Demings ran over her rivals to win his old seat. 

The Central Florida congresswoman is not the only member of her family to win big last week. Her husband Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings was elected to be Orange County’s next mayor. 


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