In April, after Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped out of the presidential race, the former vice president became the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee. Since then, Biden’s team has been vetting potential running mate candidates.
Biden has vowed to select a woman as a vice presidential candidate, and it has been speculated that several prominent Democratic Party politicians are on the shortlist.
Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts are all reportedly being discussed as potential vice presidential nominees. Although not as widely known as the senators, Demings is reportedly “attracting an increasing amount of attention” from team Biden.
Biden has publicly lavished the congresswoman with praise.
“She is one of a group of close to a dozen really qualified and talented women who are on the list. She’s a very competent, very capable person,” he said in an early May interview.
Demings, who is 63 years old, is a former police chief. First elected to the House of Representatives in 2016, she served as a House impeachment manager against President Donald Trump earlier this year. The congresswoman is reportedly a “favorite” of top Democrat Nancy Pelosi, and Biden’s team has warmed up to her.
However, the lack of political experience on the national stage could be a problem, according to a Biden consultant.
“Val checks a lot of boxes, and the more you put it all on paper, the more she starts to score at the top of the list. But the knock against her might be experience,” the consultant said.
Biden is reportedly looking for someone who participated in a nationwide campaign and would prefer a running mate he is personally close with. The former vice president and his team have not made a decision yet — and won’t, until July — but those familiar with Demings’ work believe she would be the right person for the job.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff praised the congresswoman’s record as police chief, telling Politico that she is a “brilliant, hard-working, professional and has a commanding presence.”
Demings told the publication that she is honored Biden’s team is considering her for the position.
“The American Dream is alive and well if you work hard enough and you have enough people supporting you,” she said.
Polling suggests that Florida will be a battleground state in the 2020 presidential election. For instance, a Quinnipiac University poll released in late April showed Biden polling four points ahead of Trump. The survey also found that Floridians view the Democrat more favorably than the president.