Donald Trump endorses Anna Paulina Luna for CD 13, calls opponents RINOs
Anna Paulina Luna speaking in Tampa. Image via AP.

anna paulina luna

Former President Donald Trump is backing vocal ally Anna Paulina Luna in her candidacy for Florida’s 13th Congressional District ⁠— again.

“Anna Paulina Luna is a great fighter who is running for Congress in Florida,” Trump said in a statement. “Anna is a warrior, she is a winner, and it’s time for all America First Republicans to unite behind her strong campaign. Anna has my complete and total endorsement.”

Luna previously garnered an endorsement from Trump in 2020, where she advanced to the General Election against incumbent U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, who is vacating the seat to run for Governor.

The former President’s endorsement of Luna comes as a jab to fellow Republican and previous opponent Amanda Makki, who dove headfirst into Trump territory and heightened conservative rhetoric at her campaign kick-off in July ⁠— a shift from her previous approach as a more moderate conservative who supported Trump. 

While in the 2020 race, Makki offered a more establishment option to Republican voters in the GOP Primary, with Luna claiming the Trump wing of the party. But, that strategy didn’t work two years ago when Trump himself was on the ballot, leading Makki to ditch the moderate label and tackle the border, critical race theory and ballot harvesting during her campaign announcement. 

But, in his statement, Trump went as far as to call Luna’s primary opponents RINOs (Republican In Name Only), a slam to Makki and recently filed Republican candidate Audrey Henson.

“She is an Air Force veteran who puts America First, unlike her RINO opponents,” Trump said in his statement. “Anna is committed to strong borders, serving our Veterans, and ensuring Florida’s beautiful coastlines are protected. This is an important race because it is ‘key’ to taking back the House.”

While the endorsement from the President in 2020 likely gave Luna the boost she needed to oust Makki, it is unclear how his most recent nod of support will impact right-leaning voters.

The two haven’t had too many endorsement announcements since launching their respective campaigns; but, that seems to be changing as they start building their campaigns.

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich announced his support for Luna back in July, along with radio host and Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, who offered his support back in May.

Most recently, on Monday, Makki announced backing from Maggie’s List, which supports fiscally conservative women running for federal and statewide office.

The race, which is one of the most hotly contested districts on the 2022 ballot, also has three Democratic challengers — state Reps. Ben Diamond and Michele Rayner-Goolsby, and Eric Lynn, a former national security adviser in former President Barack Obama’s administration.

CD 13 is currently a fairly purple district. Heading into last year’s presidential election, Republicans, through a massive voter registration effort that will continue into the 2022 midterms, chipped away at the Democratic advantage in the Pinellas County district from 5.2 percentage points to just 4.6.

And with redistricting on the horizon, Republicans leading the process could narrow that even more by shifting district boundaries northward, though they may be reluctant to get too creative with redistricting after the Florida Supreme Court foiled their last attempts to draw a map favorable to the GOP.

Kelly Hayes

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 [email protected]


5 comments

  • PeterH

    September 14, 2021 at 12:31 pm

    News Alert on Donald Trump
    CONTAIN THE NUCLEAR ARMS!

    Two days after the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, President Donald Trump’s top military adviser, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, single-handedly took top-secret action to limit Trump from potentially ordering a dangerous military strike or launching nuclear weapons, according to “Peril,” a new book by legendary journalist Bob Woodward and veteran Washington Post reporter Robert Costa.

    Woodward and Costa write that Milley, deeply shaken by the assault, ‘was certain that Trump had gone into a serious mental decline in the aftermath of the election, with Trump now all but manic, screaming at officials and constructing his own alternate reality about endless election conspiracies.’

    Reply

    • Alex

      September 14, 2021 at 5:54 pm

      Miley was never on board with Cadet Bone-Spurs, and he knew damn well he might have to refuse an illegal order from him.

      Reply

  • Impeach Biden

    September 14, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    Milley Vanilli has proven himself to be a poor mission planner and commander. If his hand was in on the Afghanistan withdrawal it was a bust. Seems like he was focused on studying his white privilege. He should resign and let’s get a warrior back in that position.

    Reply

    • Alex

      September 14, 2021 at 6:07 pm

      If you were in the AF, you swore an oath to the Constitution, not the President.

      Miley did, and he honored it by making sure Trump would be stopped if he decided to break his Presidential Oath to it.

      Reply

  • Art

    September 21, 2021 at 9:39 pm

    Anna Paulina Luna has my support!

    Reply

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