Val Demings, a Democrat who represents Florida’s 10th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives and the former Orlando police chief, is said to be on Joe Biden’s short list of possible running mates.

He is expected to make his announcement next week ahead of the Democratic National Convention, which starts Aug. 17.

This moment in time requires a vice president who has on-the-ground experience dealing with issues like police brutality and the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus pandemic on African Americans.

Val Demings fits the bill.

She told Axios that if Biden asks her, she will say yes. She would be the first Black woman to be nominated for vice president.

“This moment just shines a brighter spotlight on what this country has needed all along,” Demings told Axios — a vice president who understands “the inequities and injustices that occur at the hands of police, at the hands of our criminal justice system, but also in our education system, in housing, in health care.”

Demings’ law enforcement background wouldn’t necessarily be a political advantage, particularly among progressive Democrats. The Orlando Sentinel notes that the Orlando police department faced accusations of excessive force when she ran it, but that reputation didn’t start or end with her tenure, it says.

South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn said he has spoken with Biden and his campaign about Val Demings, who represents a Central Florida district, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Clyburn lauded Demings’ past career in law enforcement, in which she rose through the ranks to become the first Black woman to serve as Orlando’s police chief.

“Val Demings is a tremendous person. I’ve known her for a long time,” he said. “I’ve said that to the vice president and some of his people. I think she is under serious consideration and she ought to be.”

According to the Palm Beach Post, Clyburn made the remarks during a Zoom conference call hosted by the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations. The Sumter, S.C., native is the third-ranking Democrat in the U.S. House, serving as the majority whip.

As you might recall, Clyburn’s endorsement fueled Biden’s win in the Palmetto State, and then on to a series of primary wins in which he routed rival Bernie Sanders. One of those included the March 17 Florida primary in which Biden trounced the Vermont U.S. senator, effectively ending Sanders’ odds of winning the nomination.

Does it really matter who is selected? A Morning Consult survey of 2,000 registered voters last week found that Biden, when paired with each of 12 prominently named prospective women vice presidential candidates, handily beat the Trump-Pence ticket by equal margins. This could be interpreted many ways: the referendum on Trump is overwhelmingly the focus; the list of alternative candidates is very strong; or respondents were equally unfamiliar with the prospective nominees.

According to Fortune, Demings was not well known to much of the nation until, as a House Judiciary Committee member, she was made an impeachment manager by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to guide the impeachment prosecution against President Trump. Demings showed a calm, prepared, eloquent, and unflappable demeanor. She was as renowned for her extensive knowledge of the allegations of presidential misconduct as she was for her understanding of the relevant constitutional issues.

While only serving a few terms in Congress, Demings has served twice as long in Congress as did Abraham Lincoln.

Demings is a mother of three and a churchgoing, gun-owning Harley-Davidson rider,

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  • Val Demings: U.S. Congress