Republican opponents Anna Paulina Luna and Kevin Hayslett are putting up a fierce fight for the Republican nomination in Florida’s 13th Congressional District, with political committees dishing out six-figures in the last week on attack ads targeting each of the front-runners.
A political committee backing Hayslett — Stand for Florida — has so far spent $861,460 this week on advertisements against Luna, according to federal expenditure reports. That expenditure included a $618,350 drop on Red Eagle Media for ad production, two separate ad placement purchases worth $100,000 and $82,360, as well as $60,750 spent on SMS messaging.
The Super PAC also dished out $78,390 in the last week on ads promoting Hayslett, including $17,640 on media placement and $60,750 on SMS messaging.
According to AdImpact, Stand for Florida booked broadcast ad time for ads running in the Tampa media market starting Friday and continuing through Primary Election Day. Back in June, the committee launched a $400,000 ad campaign supporting Hayslett.
Stand for Florida is one of many political committees flooding the Pinellas-based district with cash, and the pace of independent expenditures is speeding up as the Primary Election draws closer. And, Hayslett is also getting his fair share of attack ads from Super PACs backing Luna’s campaign.
In the last week, Club for Growth Action ponied up $667,761 for TV, radio and mail ads against Hayslett, as well as $19,309 on ads supporting Luna.
Another PAC against Hayslett, Conservative Outside PAC, spent $94,890 on ad placement and another $9,311 on media production this past week for ads criticizing the former prosecutor.
Americans for Protecting Liberty, a PAC backing Luna, spent $22,428 in the last week, split down the middle for mailers supporting Luna and mailers opposing Hayslett.
Luna and Hayslett are considered front-runners in the crowded Republican Primary, in which the pair will also face Republican strategist Amanda Makki, Christine Quinn and Moneer Kheireddine. 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 Rep. Charlie Crist as he runs for Governor.
Drew Wilson of Florida Politics contributed to this report.