You already know the women to watch in politics—Nancy, Hillary, Sarah, and the others who make news by tweeting a thought, making an endorsement, or solving a humanitarian crisis.
Now The Daily Beast wants you to meet the next women to watch: the ones pegged by political insiders to become the breakout stars of 2012. Some are members of Congress on the fast track, others are on the ballot looking to make their marks. All are making a name for themselves.
Making the list is Orlando’s Val Demings, “who started out as a beat cop in Orlando and worked her way up to become the city’s first-ever female chief of police,” reads the profile.
The mother of three boys saw the city’s violent crime rate fall by 40 percent under her leadership before she retired and set her sights on Congress. The youngest of seven children of a janitor and housekeeper, the “steady,” “determined” Demings is a clear favorite of Democrats, who put her at the top of the list of the hopefuls they’d like to see make it all the way to Washington.
“Val Demings is like an actual superhero,” says Jen Bluestein Lamb of EMILY’S List, which has endorsed Demings. “She transcends so much of the blustery rhetoric that people don’t like about Washington. Val is the exact kind of woman we’d like to see get involved in politics throughout the country.”
Demings will take on Republican Rep. Dan Webster in November.