Ron DeSantis endorses Anna Paulina Luna in CD 13
Anna Paulina Luna speaking in Tampa. Image via AP.

anna paulina luna
‘Anna Paulina Luna is a principled fighter that Pinellas County can count on to fight the Pelosi/Biden spending spree that's driving 40-year high inflation.’

Gov. Ron DeSantis is choosing Republican Anna Paulina Luna as his preferred future Pinellas County Congressperson.

In a statement released Saturday by the Republican Party of Pinellas County, DeSantis named her as a fighter against President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Luna, an Air Force veteran turned conservative activist, is locked in a dogfight with Eric Lynn, a former national security adviser in the Barack Obama administration, as they race for Florida’s 13th Congressional District.

“Anna Paulina Luna is a principled fighter that Pinellas County can count on to fight the Pelosi/Biden spending spree that’s driving 40-year high inflation,” DeSantis said in a statement. “As an Air Force veteran and wife of a Purple Heart recipient, Anna will also be a strong champion for our veterans and for continuing VA reform efforts.”

“We need a check and balance in Washington on Biden and the radical Democrats, and electing Republicans like Anna Paulina Luna to Congress is the way to get it done,” he continued. “I’m proud to endorse her and give her my full support.”

This year marks Luna’s second bid for CD 13, but the first under new district lines. In 2020, Luna lost the Pinellas County seat by 6 points to former Rep. Charlie Crist, the Democrat now trying to deny DeSantis a second term and retake the Governor’s Mansion.

However, DeSantis redrew CD 13 during this year’s redistricting process, removing St. Petersburg from the district and moving the line north to the Pasco County border. As a result, the geography shifted from a Democratic-leaning district to one that voted for DeSantis by 4 points in 2018 and former President Donald Trump by 7 points in 2020.

Polling this month, from David Binder Research, found Luna and Lynn split at 47% each. A June poll from the same group found Lynn leading by 2 points, but a different poll that month had Luna leading by 9 points.

FiveThirtyEight gives Luna a 96% chance to win and predicts a final vote of 55%-42%.

With the election kicking into overdrive, both candidates are trying to rein in endorsements. A group of Pinellas County Republican and independent officials and leaders endorsed Lynn over Luna last week, citing Lynn’s background and moderate views. Some of them had previously endorsed Luna’s Primary opponent, Republican Amanda Makki.

The Lynn campaign claims Luna is refusing to address voters about what they describe as her “extremist views,” citing Luna’s self-identification as a “pro-life extremist” during a campaign event, her stance on arming teachers in schools and her continued insistence that Trump won the 2020 election.

On Saturday, Luna’s campaign also announced a DeSantis “Unite & Win” rally in Clearwater with Turning Point Action and conservative talk show host Charlie Kirk. That rally will take place Nov. 5, the penultimate day of early voting ahead of Election Day on Nov. 8.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.

One comment

  • Joe Corsin

    October 23, 2022 at 5:38 pm

    “Spending is bad unless it’s done on Florida..and most of that California and New York money we will hoard and buy votes with.” – Ron DeDumbDumb

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