U.S. Senate candidate and former U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell is endorsing Whitney Fox for Florida’s 13th Congressional District.
Fox is a Democrat running to unseat Republican incumbent Anna Paulina Luna, who won the seat in 2022 amid a red wave in Florida and after her predecessor, former U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, resigned the seat to run for Governor. Luna’s victory also came after new congressional maps shifted the district boundaries further north in Pinellas County, giving the GOP a voter registration advantage.
“Whitney Fox has a proven record of putting people before politics, and I’m proud to endorse her campaign for Florida’s 13th Congressional District,” Mucarsel-Powell said.
“Whitney has been a tireless advocate for the issues that matter most to Floridians: protecting women’s reproductive freedoms, lowering the cost of health care, ending gun violence, and protecting Social Security and Medicare. Pinellas deserves a leader like Whitney, and I look forward to serving our state’s working families together when we flip Florida blue.”
The district, drawn to exclude parts of south Pinellas County and include northern parts of the county, now leans red with nearly 199,000 Republican voters to just 151,573 Democrats.
Cook Political Report lists the district as a competitive race but with a distinct advantage for Republicans at R+6 and likely Republican.
But Fox is looking for an opening in a district currently represented by a first-term member of Congress who has often stood with the more extreme conservatives on Capitol Hill, including U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz.
“Floridians deserve a leader focused on bringing order to the halls of Congress and solutions to our communities,” Fox said. “I am honored to receive the endorsement of Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. Together, we will work to lower costs, make our communities safer, and protect abortion care. Debbie knows how to get things done for Florida, and she will be a trusted partner in our campaign to unseat Anna Paulina Luna.”
Mucarsel-Powell’s endorsement comes after Fox launched her campaign with support from former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and Largo City Commissioner Jamie Robinson, and after she raised more than $100,000 in her first week of campaigning.
As of the end of September, Luna had nearly $560,000 on hand for her re-election bid, which includes nearly $740,000 in total contributions in the third quarter.
Fox announced her candidacy last month, just after she resigned from her position as Communications Director for the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), where she ran communications strategy, public policy advisory and other executive functions within the transit agency. Fox was one of the main architects of the SunRunner Bus Rapid Transit line in St. Petersburg, which has outperformed ridership expectations within its first year.
In that role, Fox also had to work with leaders in both political parties to further transit priorities at the city, county, state and federal levels. Under Fox’s and other PSTA leadership, the agency was named the nation’s most outstanding public transportation system for the three-year period covering 2020-2022.
Two other Democrats have entered the race: John Liccione and Mark Weinkrantz.