Former St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster is backing Anna Paulina Luna in her campaign for Florida’s 13th Congressional District.
Foster, a Republican, served as Mayor of St. Pete from 2010 through 2014, previously working on City Council.
“Anna Paulina Luna is a passionate and fresh conservative voice for change,” Foster said in a statement. “From her work with environmental nonprofits, to her staunch anti-human trafficking advocacy, and support for veterans, she will be a champion for Pinellas County. l am proud to give her my full support.”
Luna is considered a top contender in the Republican Primary for CD 13, with an endorsement from former President Donald Trump putting her in the lead.
She leads the GOP crowd in the 2022 election with 38% support, according to the latest survey from St. Pete Polls. None of the other candidates, including Amanda Makki, break double-digit support in the poll.
Luna’s share of support jumped to more than 64% when voters were informed of her Trump endorsement, with undecided voters dropping to 22%. Still, no other candidate reaches double digits.
She faces former congressional staffer Makki, who lost to Luna in 2020 for the Republican nomination to face incumbent Charlie Crist. A third GOP candidate, nonprofit founder Audrey Henson, is also vying for the nomination.
Several Democrats are running, including state Reps. Ben Diamond and Michele Rayner-Goolsby as well as former Obama administration staffer Eric Lynn.
The race is considered one of the top congressional contests to watch as Republicans seek to reclaim a majority in the U.S. House. With Crist leaving office to run for Governor, it puts the GOP in prime position to take back a seat that, until Crist’s election in 2016, had been under Republican control for decades.
Redistricting this year could shift the balance of power within the Pinellas County district, which currently has a slight Democratic advantage.
Democrats, meanwhile, will be fighting to keep the seat blue. The combination of efforts will likely lead to an expensive race with national appeal.