Shaquille O’Neal endorses candidate in race for Demings’s House seat

Retired NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal has endorsed former Florida prosecutor Aramis Ayala (D) in the race for Rep. Val Demings’s (D) House seat in the state’s 10th Congressional District. 

“I’m supporting Aramis Ayala for Congress because we need bold action and principled leadership,” the basketball legend said in a video announcing his endorsement. 

“She’s running a people-powered campaign,” he added, urging voters to donate ahead of the June 30 Federal Election Commission deadline. 

O’Neal, who supported President Biden in the 2020 presidential election, started his basketball career with the Orlando Magic in the 1990s and maintained a presence in the city after. 

His endorsement comes as the race to fill Demings’s seat in the Orlando-area district starts to take off. Five Democrats, including Ayala, civil rights attorney Natalie Jackson and state Sen. Randolph Bracy (D), as well as Republican Carter Morgan, have declared their candidacies for the seat. 

The district, which leans Democratic, is located on the I-4 corridor and includes the western portion of Orange County. Demings won the seat by 28 points, making it a likely Democratic stronghold going into the midterms. 

Demings, who has represented the district since 2017, formally launched her bid to challenge Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) earlier this month. 

Tags Joe Biden Marco Rubio Val Demings

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