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Former St. Pete Mayor Rick Baker backs Anna Paulina Luna

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

Baker, a Republican, served as Mayor of the city from 2001-2010.

Former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker has announced his endorsement of Air Force veteran Anna Paulina Luna as she seeks the Republican nomination for Florida’s 13th Congressional District.

Baker, a Republican, served as Mayor of the city from 2001-2010. In announcing his endorsement via video, he called Luna a “fighter for America.”

“We’re in a tough time in America. We’ve got a lot of important issues — protecting our southern border, making sure that our nation is strong, getting our economy back, getting inflation down and getting rid of the corruption that seems prevalent in so many places,” Baker said in the video. “And for that, we need a fighter. I’ve had enough opportunities to talk with Ana and watch what she’s done, and I believe she will be a fighter for Pinellas County, and I believe she will be a fighter for America, so I support her.”

The endorsement from Baker comes only days away from the CD 13 Primary Election, a race where Luna is considered a frontrunner. Luna adds Baker’s support to a long list of endorsers, including former President Donald Trump, U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

In the Republican Primary, Luna faces former prosecutor Kevin Hayslett, Republican strategist Amanda Makki, Christine Quinn and Moneer Kheireddine. Makki lost the Republican Primary to Luna in 2020.

Hayslett is considered Luna’s biggest competition leading up to election day, with recent polling finding that 37% of likely Republican Primary voters support Luna, and 34% back Hayslett.

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. The candidates are running to replace U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, who is running for the Governor’s seat.

The new congressional map shifts CD 13 westward and remakes it from a seat Democrat Joe Biden won in 2020 by 4 percentage points to one Republican Donald Trump carried by almost 7 points.

Written by Kelly Hayes

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