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2020

Anna Paulina Luna puts Twitter on blast over blue check mark

Luna is one of only three Florida congressional candidates without a verified account.

Republican Anna Paulina Luna has called out Twitter Wednesday evening, criticizing the social media platform for not providing her with a verification mark.

Luna, who is running for Florida’s 13th Congressional District against Democratic incumbent Charlie Crist, is one of only three Congressional candidates in the Sunshine State not verified on Twitter — the other two are also Republican candidates running to represent the Tampa Bay area. However, the two candidates, Bill Olson and Scott Franklin, have not requested verification, according to a WFLA report. 

According to the screenshot Luna shared, which appears to be an email from a managing department of Twitter, the social media platform was in contact with her and provided the required criteria for a political candidate to be verified.

These include qualifying as an official candidate by registering with all the correct agencies and paying their filing fee and meeting account requirements such as having a profile photo, header, bio and website listed. The account must also comply with Twitter Rules.

Luna met those requirements, but the prestigious blue check mark remains elusive.

Two former Republican primary candidates in CD 13, who Luna faced in the August Primary Election where she earned the nomination, are verified on Twitter. That includes Amanda Makki, who was Luna’s closest opponent, as well as George Buck, who was the nominee against Crist in 2018.

According to Twitter, “an account may be verified if it is determined to be an account of public interest.” The site continues, “typically this includes accounts maintained by users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business and other key interest areas.”

The race for CD 13 is heating up, with campaign advertisements showing aggressive campaigning from both candidates.

Tuesday night, Luna launched her new ad, “Always,” via Twitter. The day after, Crist released his first campaign commercial of the election, earlier than expected.

Crist placed a new broadcast flight from Sept. 17 through Sept. 21, immediately following Luna’s ad release, according to Advertising Analytics. Crist has spent $43,325 in the Tampa Bay media market. 

Luna’s new ad, which she posted to Twitter late Tuesday night, is called “Always.” It features Luna speaking directly to the audience while walking down an airplane runway and speeding off in a red sports car.

Before Luna speeds away, engine roaring, she says, “We may not always agree, but unlike these career politicians, I’ll always serve you, not myself.”

The ad highlights anti-career politician rhetoric Luna has employed to fuel her campaign. Luna isn’t a run-of-the-mill politician, which is what the GOP is counting on to help her oust the incumbent.

After her nomination, Luna garnered national attention when President Donald Trump publicly endorsed her via Twitter

The Republican nominee is the first formidable opponent Crist has faced since he was first elected to Congress in 2016 against then-Republican incumbent David Jolly.

According to a recent St. Pete Polls survey, Crist has a 16-point lead over Luna.

Sixteen points is about the same margin of victory by which Crist defeated Buck in 2018.

The district was under GOP control for more than four decades before Crist nabbed it, thanks largely to redistricting that shifted the voter registration advantage to Democrats. Now, the party is anxious for a chance to win it back.

Written By

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at kelly@floridapolitics.com.

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