• Val Demings ends bid for Orange County mayor


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Former Orlando police chief Val Demings announced Tuesday that she will not seek the office of Orange County mayor. 

    "I am humbled by and grateful for the support I have received from every corner of our county.  After careful analysis, I have determined that this is just not the right race at this time," said Demings.

    A release stated Tuesday that the campaign received support from key constituencies in Orange County, despite facing an incumbent in August. 

    "There are many ways to contribute to my community.  My commitment to the place I call home didn’t begin with this campaign and certainly doesn't end with it.  I will continue to explore ways to make our great county a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family," Demings said.

    Demings, a Democrat, entered the race in January on a public safety and education-improvement platform.

    The latest campaign treasurer records show Demings has raised $240,000 compared to Teresa Jacobs' $640,000.

    Channel 9 political analyst Rick Foglesong believes money had a lot to do with Demings dropping out.

    "To run for mayor of Orange County you have to raise Orange County money. Therefore, you need to appeal to Orange County contributors and you need to talk about the issues of concern to them," said Foglesong.

    "While I was looking forward to publicly discussing my record and the issues facing Orange County with her, I respect Val Demings’ decision to drop out of the race and I wish her the best in her future endeavors," said Jacobs. 

    A Realtor's poll showed Jacobs having a 48-33 percent edge over Demings, and earlier this month, her campaign manager quit and moved to Washington, D.C.

    Demings' campaign said Tuesday it was not the right race at this time. Demings' focus had been on open government and helping those less fortunate.

    Jacobs said she feels she has pushed for progress on both of those issues. She also said Tuesday she was surprised Demings dropped out.

    "Because, obviously, I know it was not something that she entered lightly and like I said, she had a very, very long history of public service," said Jacobs.

    It is the second consecutive unsuccessful race for Demings. She narrowly lost her congressional challenge to GOP Rep. Daniel Webster in November 2012.

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    Val Demings ends bid for Orange County mayor