Florida Rep. Val Demings endorses Joe Biden for president

Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) endorses former Vice President Joe Biden for president during an interview with CNN.

Florida Democratic Rep. Val Demings on Thursday endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president, saying Biden “has been there in the trenches fighting for those things that are important to the American people.”

“What I do know is America is always at its best when people have the opportunity to succeed,” Demings told CNN’s John Berman on “New Day.” “And we have leaders in place who understand that. That’s why I’m so proud this morning to endorse Joe Biden for the next president of the United States.”

Demings is one of two dozen members of the Congressional Black Caucus to endorse Biden, which is by far the most endorsements from that caucus for any presidential candidate. Her announcement comes after Biden’s big wins on Super Tuesday and adds to his considerable support among members of Congress — including Florida Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch, who backed Biden just one day before, and Rep. Anthony Brown of Maryland who announced his endorsement Thursday morning.

Demings did not rule out being Biden’s running mate if she was asked and said she was “humbled” that her name has been raised as a potential add to the Democratic ticket.

Demings represents Florida’s 10th Congressional District, and was Orlando’s first female chief of police. She serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Committee on the Judiciary and the House Committee on Homeland Security.

The Florida primary is on March 17, the same day as the Arizona Democratic primary, Illinois primary, Ohio primary and the Northern Mariana Islands Republican caucuses.

CNN has projected Biden claimed victory in 10 Super Tuesday states, including an upset victory in Texas and surprise wins in Minnesota and Massachusetts. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is so far projected to win three states in the Tuesday contests. A winner in California had not been called as of Wednesday evening.

The former vice president has surged since his blowout win in South Carolina on Saturday, and the Democratic centrist establishment has consolidated around him. His campaign boasts an impressive number of endorsements from prominent black elected officials, including Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, the highest-ranking African American in Congress.

Demings served as a Democratic House manager in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, in which the President was acquitted on two articles of impeachment, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The impeachment trial centered largely around Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden, a potential rival, and his son Hunter Biden. Trump and his allies have repeatedly made unfounded and false claims to allege that the Bidens acted corruptly in Ukraine. Demings told CNN on Thursday that she certainly would not have endorsed Biden while she was serving as an impeachment manager, saying it “would have undermined the work that we were doing.”

This story has been updated with additional information from the interview.

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