The Independent Party of Florida (IPF) has announced its endorsement of Democratic nominee Eric Lynn for Florida’s 13th Congressional District.
The IPF endorsement comes as CD 13 is home to roughly 185,000 nonaffiliated or independent voters, which may help Lynn in the Republican leaning district. The district has a history of electing moderate and centrist officials like former U.S. Reps. Charlie Crist, David Jolly and Bill Young. Candidates are running to replace Crist in November.
“Throughout his career, Eric Lynn has shown a commitment to American and Pinellas values,” Independent Party Chairman Ernest Bach said in a statement. “With partisanship and extremism on both sides plaguing our nation, Eric is the type of common sense leader Pinellas, Florida, and the United States need in this critical time for our nation’s history.”
This endorsement comes after recent polling found Lynn leading 47-35 among independent voters against Republican Anna Paulina Luna, who is a staunch Donald Trump ally.
“I am grateful for the Independent party’s endorsement,” Lynn said in a statement.
“As a native of Pinellas, I know our community has a history of rejecting extremism on both sides and electing common sense centrist leaders and I look forward to continuing that tradition. Extremism has plagued our state and our nation for too long and on day one in Congress I’ll be ready to deliver on our shared Pinellas values of lowering costs for middle class families, delivering for our veterans, protecting a woman’s freedom to choose and our environment.”
Luna won the GOP August Primary with 44% of the vote, defeating fellow Republican Kevin Hayslett.
Luna took the Republican nomination for the Pinellas County seat back in 2020, but failed to unseat incumbent U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist. But now, the seat is open, with Crist eyeing the Governor’s Mansion. And there’s a better chance for Republicans to flip it, thanks to redistricting.
After DeSantis signed his new congressional map, the district shifted from purple to red — it now extends further north into traditionally Republican parts of Pinellas County and eliminates parts of St. Petersburg, which was previously the district’s largest city and served as a Democratic stronghold. The district voted for Trump by 7 points in 2020 and for Gov. Ron DeSantis by 4 points in 2018.
But, with support from the Independent Party, the race may be closer than previously anticipated.
Lynn is endorsed by Crist, four other Democrats from the Florida delegation, former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and a host of other current and former officials.
Luna has Trump’s endorsement, plus those of several sitting members of Congress, including far-right U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, as well as Florida U.S. Reps. Byron Donalds and Greg Steube. She is also endorsed by former U.S. House Speaker and conservative commentator Newt Gingrich and conservative activist and talk show host Charlie Kirk.