Fifth Republican joins fight to topple Charlie Crist

Anna Paulina Luna is an Air Force veteran.

A fifth Republican has entered the race to oust Congressman Charlie Crist from office. Air Force veteran Anna Paulina Luna announced Monday she was joining the race to bring conservative values back to the district.

Luna joins an already crowded field in the Republican primary for Florida’s 13th Congressional District. Also running are former U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski staffer Amanda Makki, former attorney Sheila GriffinMatt Becker and perennial candidate George Buck.

Bucking conservative stereotypes, the Republican crowd is diverse. It now includes an Iranian-American (Makki), an African-American (Griffin) and, now, a Latina.

Luna announced her candidacy in a video Monday. In it, she describes a harrowing childhood plagued by poverty, drug addiction and homelessness.

“My grandmother died of heroin use. My family fought addiction. Many of them ended up homeless,” Luna said. “But my mom, she’s my real hero. She raised three kids through a string of abusive relationships and still put herself through law school. That’s fight.”

It’s the same fight Luna said she’ll bring to Washington D.C.

“This community deserves to be served by someone who isn’t afraid to stand up and fight for its future. Throughout my life, I’ve been knocked down, underestimated and told I wasn’t enough. But every time, I picked myself up and came back fighting. I’m a warrior and I’ll fight with the same passion for the people of Pinellas County,” Luna said.

“I look forward to protecting our veterans and service members, the Constitution and our natural environment. I can’t wait to meet every voter, share my plan and earn their support.”

Luna joined the United States Air Force at 19 and later put herself through college while working full time.

After college, she deferred her acceptance into medical school to join the staff at Turning Point USA as the Director of Hispanic Engagement, where she traveled the country speaking with college students about issues affecting the Hispanic community, and how Conservative values could address these issues.

Luna cofounded Bienvenido, a conservative Hispanic outreach organization.

Luna’s husband Andy is a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient she met while serving in the Air Force.

“When he was shot in Afghanistan, it really opened my eyes to the hardships our veterans face when they come home. I saw first hand how previous presidents had put our fighting men and women at risk and I knew that supporting President [Donald] Trump was nonnegotiable,” Luna said.

Luna and her husband also consider themselves environmental activists. They work with a group called Force Blue, which is a coalition of Special Operations veterans who work on marine conservation.

Luna said she’ll bring passion for both issues to her campaign.

Luna is also pro-border protection.

“On immigration, common sense is to first secure our border. But career politicians care more about getting reelected than doing the right thing,” Luna said.

“The stakes are high, but like you I will never back down from this fight. My mission is clear — to protect life, our borders, our families, our God given rights, our country.”

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


  • VoteDem2020

    September 16, 2019 at 1:43 pm

    Like his predecessor, David Jolly, Charlie was one of the last true Republicans in this state. And, like Jolly did, he should just dump the electioneering agita and brouhaha and join CNN or MSNBC as an informed and experienced commentator. He’d be very good at it, just as Jolly is!

    Or, if both still have the electioneering bug – they could join as governor and lieutenant-governor candidates and challenge DeSantis in 2022. My own guess is that the Florida Senate will go Democratic in 2020 and that the state will also vote Democratic and against Trump in the 2020 election – so DeSantis will be ripe for being beaten in 2022!

    • DisplacedCTYankee

      September 17, 2019 at 9:14 am

      A Republican, fervent Trumper, and an “environmental activist?” Lady, you are seriously confused, or just plain lying.

      • Steve Lee Reid

        September 17, 2019 at 9:43 am

        Dream on! The evil democrat party is going by the way of the Whig party!

      • Alisha

        September 17, 2019 at 8:33 pm

        It’s cute when republicans pretend to care about the environment isn’t it?

      • William harrison

        September 18, 2019 at 8:46 am

        When Fla goes Democrat is truly ripe for people to divide state to north and south Fla. Liberal south and conservative north. Freedom haters in south freedom lovers in north only way it can be

  • gary

    September 17, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    MAGA 2020! Straight RED America! We will return the republic to the people!

    Democrats are criminals!

  • Phillip

    September 17, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    “I saw first hand how previous presidents had put our fighting men and women at risk“

    OH you mean like how GWB and Cheney lied about WMD’s to start an entire unnecessary war that killed thousands of American soldiers, including the war that got her husband injured? Like THAT president? How convenient she left him off her video. For all her impressive credentials she apparently needs a history lesson. Girl, bye.

    • gary

      September 18, 2019 at 11:32 am

      Most conservatives regard GWB as a RINO! I am a conservative and I did not vote for him.

Comments are closed.


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