Congressional candidate Anna Paulina Luna has announced her father George Mayerhofer died Tuesday in a car crash. His wife, Luna’s step-mother, is currently in critical condition at the ICU.
In a statement sent Tuesday afternoon via Luna’s campaign email, the candidate asked for prayers and for privacy during this time.
“My father is someone who Ioved me deeply. I cannot begin to explain the level of heartbreak I am currently feeling but what I will say is this: life is short and time with your family is precious,” Luna said in a statement. “For years, my father struggled, and it was through his struggles both success and failures that shaped who I am today.”
Luna’s father has been a significant figure throughout her campaigns for Florida’s 13th Congressional District. In one campaign video, Luna recalled her childhood, a time when her family struggled with substance abuse. In her Wednesday statement, Luna went on to tell about how she joined the U.S. Air Force and found hope, helping her dad out of drug abuse and homelessness.
“In 2013, upon my request, he made the journey out to Florida from California. He lived with us. He got sober and for this first time, he and I enjoyed many many years together where I was finally able to have my dad. Those years were priceless,” Luna said in her statement. “He was there for me when my husband was shot in Afghanistan and he was there for me at the lowest points of the campaign. The last conversation I had with my dad was about seeing him in a few weeks. Andy and I were going to go up and help him build a fence.”
Luna has already faced a slew of personal hurdles this election cycle, including a lawsuit involving former opponent William Braddock, who she unsuccessfully sought a permanent injunction against after he allegedly threatened to kill her. In her impassioned testimony, Luna said Braddock “put her through emotional hell.”
In concluding her statement, Luna went on to ask for prayers and privacy during this time.
“I tell you these things because to some, maybe I am just a candidate, but to others, there is much of my life that I have shared and some of you have come to know. The human factor. That we are all just trying to do the right thing and get through this crazy life,” Luna said.
“I will close this by saying this: I believe in God. I know that my father loved me deeply. I know that my father would tell me to keep pushing forward and that he would build a fire for me in heaven (a bonfire). I ask that during this time you pray for our family. I also ask that you give us privacy during this time.”