Air Force veteran Anna Paulina Luna, 30, announced this week that she is running for U.S. Congress in Florida’s 13th Congressional District against Democrat Rep. Charlie Crist.
Luna, who is Hispanic, made the announcement in a video that she posted on Twitter to her 112,000 followers, writing: “My name is Anna Paulina Luna and I’m running for Congress. I will no longer standby as the socialist agenda infects the youth of our nation. I need your help fundraising as I am going up against fundraiser for the DCCC.”
Luna has an even larger platform on Instagram where she has nearly a quarter of a million followers and she repeatedly appeared on Fox News during her time at Turning Point USA.
In an in-depth interview with The Daily Wire, Luna indicated that the issues she cares about the most are fighting for capitalism and against socialism, preserving the Second Amendment, taking care of the environment, and taking care of America’s military veterans.
My name is Anna Paulina Luna and I’m running for Congress.
I will no longer standby as the socialist agenda infects the youth of our nation.
— Anna Paulina Luna (@realannapaulina) September 16, 2019
1. What inspired you to get into politics?
During my first enlistment with the USAF, I was stationed in Missouri. At the time I did not own any firearms and I lived off-base. I had a home invasion experience at my first duty station that, for the most part, left me completely traumatized. It was during my senior year of college that I decided to use my social media platform (around 30,000 people at the time) to speak on women using firearms to defend themselves.
The more I spoke on this topic, which to me was common sense, the more I realized companies did not want to work with me. It completely evolved at that point. I realized that if I didn’t start to speak up then I was part of the problem with society. The first video I did was on the hypocrisy of mainstream media on using Hispanics as props for their open border agenda. It completely exploded after that.
2. As a self-described “Chicana,” what do you say to other Hispanics who listen to places like CNN and believe that the president is racist and that enforcing immigration law and securing the border is racist?
I was one of those people that listened to CNN. It was after I saw a segment on CNN where they placed a camera crew on women and children that were being brought to this country illegally that I realized that the news I trusted had become straight-up propaganda. In traveling around the country, I have spoken to thousands of other Hispanics about this exact issue.
I am always respectful in my messaging and welcome differing opinions because it is my opportunity to educate them on the dangers that go hand-in-hand with illegal immigration. A secured border saves lives on both sides. There is nothing racist about enforcing your countries laws and borders and frankly, Hispanics are not the only illegals in this county. The fact is that the largest voting minority in this county is Hispanic Americans, specifically Mexicans, which is why the DNC is attempting to turn this into a racial topic. It is part of the President’s job description to keep our country safe. Without borders, we have no nation and there are millions of people waiting to come here legally. We must respect the process.
3. Why should minorities vote Republican and how should the party reach out to them?
Minorities are better off voting Republican because conservative values are better for the family unit and the individual. What most people do now know about me is that I grew up in the welfare system. My mom, to her credit, was a very young single-mother and she herself grew up in total poverty. As I grew older, I realized something: The dependency on the welfare system creates cycles of poverty.
Had it not been for me joining the military, I would have stayed in that cycle, the debt cycle. The dependence on government for support is not what the American dream is supposed to me. The party needs to assist fresh new candidates of all backgrounds to join the party. I can say that the DNC has brainwashed American’s into thinking Republicans are “old-white-rich-males,” which couldn’t be further from the truth. First off, there is nothing wrong with being white but secondly, if the Republican party can show who we are made of, it shatters any identity politics the DNC will use.
4. Why should younger voters vote Republican and what are you going to do to reach them?
Simple: the experiment that is America has withstood the test of time because of our Constitution. The Republican party not only fights for our Constitution but we still use it as a guideline for most of the policies we support. Aside from that, when you have the entire DNC starting to advocate that we all need to be vegetarians, turn in our guns, and if we don’t, they’re going to nuke us, that in itself is enough for me to run the other way.
If you love your freedom and way of life, you’ll vote Republican. I use all my digital media platforms to share information on the political process and current events. I also travel around the country speaking to young men and women about my life experiences and how being a conservative has changed my life. I will continue to do this through my campaign and in the future because I believe in fighting to fully restore our constitutional republic. Remember, freedom is only there if we choose to fight for it.
To go directly to the youth, I have recently teamed up with PragerU to launch a docuseries that will be coming out in the spring of next year and will be available on all digital media platforms for free.
5. How does the GOP respond to some of the issues, like healthcare and student debt, that Democrats propose addressing with socialist policies?
The response is best done by not promising things that can’t be delivered on but encouraging everyone to solve these problems with free-market capitalism. With healthcare for example, if we were to enable more insurance companies to come forward with plans for healthcare coverage and get rid of some of the red-tape doctors face when opening their own practices, it would make the market competitive, meaning the prices for these plans and walk-in clinics would drop.
In an instance of student loan debt, I joined the military and worked my way through college paying for it via the GI-bill. The problem with society today is people don’t want to have to work hard for things anymore. They expect them. The beauty of being born in America is that depending on how much effort you put into life, you can change social classes. Those that tell you otherwise are simply lying to you.
6. With the rise of socialism in the Democrat Party, are you also concerned about the Democrats’ continued push to curtail the freedoms of U.S. citizens?
Absolutely. Many people today are starting to catch onto the agenda of the DNC, but not as many as I would like. I never thought that in my lifetime I would hear presidential candidates making an open call to confiscate all firearms and disregard the Constitution. Right now, the threat to the Second Amendment is something we should all fear.
It is the Second Amendment that ensures the people of the United States will always remain more powerful than the government. The Second Amendment is the only thing standing in between the socialist agenda of the DNC and our freedom. There is no in-between in 2020. I, alongside many patriots across the nation, am going to fight to ensure the American people and our freedom is safe. If we don’t fight now, we could lose this country forever.
7. How should Republicans respond to the Democrats becoming the party of identity politics?
The GOP can respond to this by showcasing who the faces of the GOP are. There are many minorities involved with the GOP whether they are candidates, elected officials, faces in media, and even volunteers. However, the GOP does need help with re-branding. That can only be done if we all collectively choose to get involved and use our social media to put that message out there.
The most concerning thing I see is people who will thank me for doing what I am doing but choose to not get involved. The biggest threat to the DNC is the American public waking up to freedom of thought and realizing that there is no division among us except for that caused by their sick agenda to keep us fighting amongst ourselves. If minorities start pushing back and we unify, the DNC as we know it will crumble.
8. What do you view as the greatest threat the United States both from a foreign and a domestic standpoint?
Socialism. We as a nation only exist because, we the people, have control over our government. The push for socialism and a socialist agenda has resulted in … a push at the local, state, and federal level for big government control.
Throughout history, countries and people have died because of socialism. Never forget that America is the greatest country on earth. Our country was and still is blessed by God, but only if we choose to fight for it. Every day, silent patriots in the intelligence communities across the United States work day and night to protect us from foreign espionage. If you think other nation’s around the world would not celebrate at the fall of the U.S., you are wrong. Socialism has no place in our government and I will certainly not sit back and allow for our freedom’s to be chipped away.
9. If elected, what do you hope to accomplish with respect to policy?
I have a laundry list but my top five are as follows:
- Comprehensive immigration reform that will withstand the test of time.
- Biometric visa renewal system
- A Military Interpreter visa priority program
- Seasonal workers permit program coming from Mexico and South America.
- Ending DACA but providing a solution for those that were granted DACA status during the Obama administration.
- VA reform to the VA healthcare system and access to natural treatment for veterans, especially those who have seen combat.
- My first plan of attack is with VA healthcare reform. I have had many buddies come home with PTSD yet they are unable to receive adequate treatment because of the stigma that follows PTSD and the distrust of medications. I have researched and read multiple studies on the benefits of non-THC CBD oil and the effects it has on those that suffer from PTSD. I want to make sure that our vets, as well as active duty service members, have access to alternative means of treatment.
- Amending the welfare system to allow recipients to marry, encouraging two-parenting households that would allow people to work their way out of the welfare system and allow father back in the households.
- Trade regulation requirements for countries that want to trade with the US. There is all this talk of a carbon tax. Why should the American people be responsible for this when we aren’t even the biggest polluter in the world? Countries like China and Indonesia are leading the world in destroying our oceans. Policies like “The Green New Deal” are garbage and accomplish nothing. I consider myself a green conservative. If you want to trade with the US, stop destroying our oceans and adhere to our standards.
- Tax cuts for companies that choose to manufacture stateside and/or incorporate environmentally friendly practices.
- Government grants to non-profits proving to be effective in assisting in cleaning up our environment instead of more regulations.
10. The Democrat Party, with the help of the media, have really taken control of the narrative surrounding climate change. How does the Republican Party start to win over people who are concerned about the climate?
Funny you ask that. I consider myself a green conservative. I also happen to be a huge nerd as I majored in science in college and work alongside a non-profit that works to restore the coral reefs off the coast of Florida. I consider myself a very environmentally conscious Republican. The problem with the fear-mongering taking place today and being pushed by DNC is their failure to mention certain key facts.
The earth is in a phase of global warming. If you look back at news articles from the ’70s, the big thing then was “global cooling.” The earth, like most organic things, runs in cycles. We are not going to die out in 12 years.
However, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be environmentally conscious. We should all do our part to reduce, recycle, and re-use. I avoid single-use plastics when I can and am very in tune with leaving a green footprint. The Republican Party should embrace this mindset publicly. After all, what’s not conservative about conserving the environment?
As it stands right now, China is leading the world in CO2 pollution. Not the United States. The Republican party should remind the American people of this. The day I get into office I am going to send an email to every Republican in the house and ask them to attend a tree-planting ceremony. I think it’ll be a good ice-breaker.
11. A lot of the narrative surrounding the climate has come from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and her proposed “Green New Deal,” which her former chief-of-staff even admitted was about implementing socialism. The “Green New Deal” is a socialist vision that the Democrat Party is trying to sell to America. How do you counter that? What is your vision for America?
The new Green Deal is a flaming pile of garbage and offensive to people like myself who actually care for the environment. I actually did a video on how to help the environmental cause here in the U.S. I don’t even think she came up with that on her own. I think it was written for her and handed to her just like her campaign was.
From what I have seen from her, she never went into the community to go to bat for these causes. That is where she and I differ. I not only have worked with conservative Hispanics across the nation but I also work closely with an environmental organization that is working to save the coral reefs.
My vision for America is pretty simple: Do not allow big government to have too much interference in the life of the individual and allow the people of this nation to care for their environment in the way they see fit. Through free-market capitalism, the individual will have the ability to thrive and succeed and donate to organizations, like Force Blue, that will take better care of the environment than any big government policy ever could. I believe Americans, especially compared to the rest of the world, are environmentally conscious, but I would like to see the green conservative movement become more mainstream with the GOP.
12. What are your thoughts on Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and the rise of anti-Semitism in the Democrat Party?
I have traveled to 25 counties around the world, including countries that have large populations of Muslims (Egypt, Turkey, & India). I have gone to mosques, spoken to Muslim’s, and even read parts of the Quran in my own research. I can say that Omar and Tlaib are filled with hate, are poor leaders, and the message they preach has not been the tone of other Muslims I have met around the world or ones here in the US.
They are using their hate not only to target a voting base but to target national donations from those that hate the nation of Israel. … The people of Israel have a right to their sovereign nation. It is disgusting to see the comments they have made about Jew’s and the people of Israel and frankly, I intend to smash the anti-Semitism when I get to Congress.
13. What areas do you think your opponent Rep. Charlie Christ (D-FL) is weak and has he let your district down?
Charlie has been a Republican, Independent, and now a Democrat. He is a career politician that for the last 30 years has made a living off of telling people what they want to hear and quite simply hasn’t done anything for the people that he takes photos with.
He puts vets in photo ops but fails to deliver on many issues that hit close to home with them, including VA healthcare reform. He has also for the last year and a half become radicalized in his thoughts about infringing on the constitutional right of the people to keep and bear arms, supporting an assault weapons ban, a size limit on ammunition clips, and red flag laws that pose a direct threat to the veterans he claims to advocate for.
He isn’t honest, he says and does what he needs to say and do in order to get re-elected. You cannot simply take photos and go to meetings with people and expect change. You have to go into the community and make the change happen.
In one year of being in politics, I helped to launch the largest conservative Hispanic push in the nation. I have shed light on the coral reefs dying in Florida and have gone directly to the Florida Keys to go out with dive teams to investigate. I have worked alongside veteran’s organizations and spoken to members who suffer from PTSD. I am the change St. Petersburg needs. I solve problems. I don’t just take photos.
14. What are the top three issues for voters in your district and how do you plan on addressing those issues? What issues are the most important to you?
The number one issue for all the small business owners that I have talked to is the threat of using financial penalty to those that do not implement the integrated sustainability action plan. This is going to kill small business growth in the area. I plan on encouraging environmentally friendly practices via a financial incentive instead of a fine.
Sewer system and the waste being dumped into the oceans are causing an insane aggressive bloom of red tide that is directly affecting the fishing community, the coastal ecosystem, and our tourist-based economy. The red-tide is not just killing fish, but sea turtles and manatees. I fully plan on moving forward with getting a green waste treatment facility built to handle the amount of sewage coming out of the city so it doesn’t end up in on our beaches and killing our wildlife.
Homelessness is another top issue in the area. There have been many laws that targeted the homeless population but no comprehensive program to assist in bringing them back into society as contributing and functioning members. I had the unique privilege recently of connecting with an organization called R-academy. They work to revive homeless individuals through something we call “conscious capitalism.” For me, this is a very personal issue as I had many members of my family struggle with addiction and homelessness. I fully intend to bring this organization to St. Pete. It does not operate on government funding. They cloth, house, and provide the homeless individual with a job working for the organization and essentially rehabilitate them so that they may rejoin society. Sometimes all people need is a second chance.
15. What areas of the Republican Party’s platform do you think needs to be addressed, and/or changed?
The concern with “political correctness” is an area of the Republican party that needs to be addressed and changed. I would even argue that the GOP is traumatized from 8 years of forced political correctness from the Obama era. The problem with that is, there is too much that is not being said out of fear of offending someone or the media. The party, if it wants to survive, has to remain strong. Even with their surrogates. They have to show the American people that, not only are we the party that once upon a time fought slavery and fought for civil rights, but we are also the party that will refuse to allow America to become a socialist nation. They have to allow us to fight and support fighters within the party as well as new blood in the party.
16. What do you hope to inspire in other elected officials and future leaders to help make America a better place?
I hope that I help them find their inner fight. For too long I have felt that politicians have become too concerned with pacifying the masses instead of fighting for what is right. Don’t fear the Twitter mob. Answer to your convictions. If you stay silent for fear of judgement then you are only hurting us as a nation. If we can learn to voice our opinions again, then we can surely learn to have conversations again. It all starts with that initial gut check and choosing to speak up when you see something wrong.
17. What are the most valuable things you learned from your time in the U.S. Military and at Turning Point USA?
The military taught me about sacrifice and discipline. One very vivid memory I have is being on the flight line when a fallen soldier was coming home. I have since then lost two friends that were KIA and a one died from suicide. Although the military only makes up a small percentage of our US population, I will never stop fighting for my brothers and sisters because I know first-hand what we have all gone through. There are some things that you cannot describe with words. You just have to feel them.
TPUSA taught me the importance of messaging. My goal for speaking to students across the nation was to not trigger them but to genuinely inform them and to help change their minds on issues I knew they were being lied too about. If you genuinely want to save this country, it starts by realizing that the person that disagrees with you is not your enemy. We are all Americans and sometimes healing starts with extending an olive branch. Immigration reform doesn’t have to be an all-out war. I believe that solution will come with respectful discussion and I fully intend to help this administration pass the most comprehensive immigration reform this country has ever seen that will last for generations to come.
18. You describe yourself as a “Green Conservative.” Can you elaborate on what that means?
I termed myself this after I saw the debate erupt about plastic straws. For many years I have worked alongside various non-profits, including Force Blue, of which my husband is a part-time NOAA certified scientific diver. I also reduce plastics, recycle, and re-use items. I think that it is important to remember that we are simply passing on this earth and that it is our duty to leave a clean environment and beautiful world for future generations. I do not believe that is only accomplished through government regulation, ridiculous plans outlawing plane travel, and implementing carbon taxes.
I believe that through free-market capitalism we as a society have the ability to invest in non-profits and take environmental conservatism to the next level. If we could incentivize businesses through tax cuts to implement environmentally friendly business practices, bring manufacturing home, and levy our weight with our trade allies via increase pressure on them to implement environmentally friendly standards in their countries if they want to trade with us, we would see a great impact globally.
19. When you are not working, what do you do for fun?
From the time that I set foot in politics, I have worked non-stop. The trade-off is that I am 110% passionate about this so I do enjoy it. I have always loved animals. Something about being in nature with wild animals is the only time I find that I can escape. For fun, I like to explore nature. I free-dive often, ski, and horseback ride. Some of the best things in life are truly free.
A version of this story appears on the Daily Wire website.