Ed Hooper endorses Kevin Hayslett for CD 13 GOP Primary

Hayslett faces three other candidates in the GOP Primary.

State Sen. Ed Hooper is endorsing Kevin Haylsett in Florida’s 13th Congressional District as he runs for the GOP nomination.

Hooper, who himself is running for re-election, was first elected to the Senate to represent the Clearwater district after a narrow victory against Democrat Amanda Murphy in 2018, which helped the GOP maintain its Senate stronghold. He previously served four terms in the House before exiting in 2014 because of term limits. Hooper resides within CD 13.

“As someone who represents Pinellas County in the Florida Senate, I cannot think of anyone better than Kevin Hayslett to represent Pinellas County in Congress,” Hooper said in a statement. “As a former prosecutor, Kevin not only has the knowledge that is needed in Washington, but the courage to speak up for what’s right.”

Hooper’s endorsement is the most recent on a slate of prominent Republican supporters of Hayslett, most recently including House Speaker Chris Sprowls. Sprowls joins Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd in supporting the former prosecutor.

“Everyday it becomes more and more clear that the (Joe) Biden administration and Democrats in Washington need to be held accountable and put in check. As a member of Congress, I will do just that,” Hayslett said in a statement. “We need leadership, we need accountability, and we need to start putting America first again.”

Hayslett launched his campaign at the end of January. He faces Air Force veteran Anna Paulina Luna, Republican strategist Amanda Makki and Christine Quinn in the Republican Primary. Makki lost the Republican Primary to Luna in 2020.

The district, which has changed due to redistricting, now extends further north into traditionally red parts of Pinellas County and eliminates parts of St. Petersburg, the currently drawn district’s largest city and a Democratic stronghold. This has left one Democratic candidate — former Barack Obama administration official Eric Lynn — in the race.

Candidates are running to replace outgoing Democratic U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist as he runs for Governor.

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].

One comment

  • N. D. Orsmundt

    June 30, 2022 at 7:41 pm

    As much as I like Christine Quinn’s verve and business background, she doesn’t have the resources to win.
    Anna Paulina Luna is much nicer in person that you would think from what people say about her, but I fear she’ll rapidly grow tired of what is a crappy job–at least for the first two or three terms. Fox News will offer her a full time gig and she won’t be able to resist. Who could blame her.
    Kevin Hayslett is smart and rich and he has the big guns behind him, but he has yet to make a convincing case for why I should vote for him, and others say the same.
    Amanda Makki knows the turf, knows the job, and has the discipline to bide her time in the back of the room building coalitions that will serve her well in her third and fourth terms and beyond. She will become someone to be reckoned with in Congress. We in Pinellas haven’t had that since Bill Young, and we need it. She has my vote.

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