Turning Point USA’s political arm put its support behind Anna Paulina Luna’s efforts to flip a Pinellas congressional seat.
Turning Point Action, founded by conservative activist Charlie Kirk, released a statement supporting Luna’s bid in Florida’s 13th Congressional District.
“Anna Paulina Luna is one of the greatest allies of Turning Point Action and we are thrilled to endorse her for Congress,” the statement reads. “Anna is one of the most vocal on issues with the Second Amendment and Secure Borders. America needs her in Congress!”
Kirk has a home in Longboat Key and so has some geographic proximity to the national race. But Turning Point USA has gained prominence nationwide for efforts to mobilize young conservatives on college campuses and in their communities.
Luna won the Republican nomination in 2020 and challenged Rep. Charlie Crist in CD 13. The Democratic incumbent beat Luna with 53% of the vote to her 47%. He’s not running this year, instead seeking to challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis. That alone raises the chance of flipping the seat from blue to red this year.
But redistricting also made this one of the most likely seats in the country to flip to Republican control in the Midterms. A map signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis shifts the seat west and north, shedding Democratic portions of St. Petersburg while absorbing more Republican areas. That changes the district from a jurisdiction Democrat Joe Biden won by 4 percentage points in the 2020 Presidential Election to one Republican Donald Trump carried by 7 points.
A court decision ordering new cartography from DeSantis’ map in North Florida has no effect on lines for the Tampa Bay seat.
Luna has been the top fundraiser from either side of the aisle, raising more than $1.4 million this election cycle, though she has also spent much of it. As of March, she has $465,049 in cash on hand.
By comparison, Republican Amanda Makki, whom Luna beat for the nomination in 2020, has more cash still available with $513,717 as of the start of April. Republican Kevin Hayslett holds even more, about $684,797.
Luna in the last cycle drew national attention for her embrace of Trump-style flashy politics. That included appearing in a digital ad with other female Republican congressional candidates, where they showed up to a fictional liberal protest that looked like an urban wasteland. In that spot, Luna brandished both an American flag-painted gun and a flamethrower.
In other words, it’s the type of online viral appeal to young voters that earned Turning Point USA prominence.
Luna has also earned endorsements from Trump, House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, Rep. Jim Jordan, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and the House Freedom Fund.