Kevin Hayslett’s campaign has released a second television ad ahead of the Republican Primary for Florida’s 13th Congressional District.
The ad, titled “That’s the Choice,” slams Hayslett’s top opponent, Anna Paulina Luna. While highlighting Hayslett’s experience as a prosecutor, the ad heavily criticizes Luna, calling her a “RINO” and repeatedly playing an old clip of Luna where she says she agreed with Barack Obama-era immigration policy.
“I always agreed with President Obama’s immigration policies,” Luna says in the brief clip.
Luna has not denied her previous support of the former President. While she once considered herself a Democrat, she never voted for Obama nor registered with the party, she told The Tampa Bay Times in 2020. After researching more about what each party represented, she said she found her values aligned more with the GOP.
In 2018, she began working for the conservative nonprofit Turning Point USA, where she served as the organization’s national Hispanic engagement director.
The ad spotlights Hayslett’s experience prosecuting drug cartels, as well as his strong stance on border security, doubling down on his promise to finish building the wall. In a news release on the ad, Hayslett’s campaign calls Luna a “pro-amnesty, Obama-loving liberal.”
“(Donald) Trump, (Ron) DeSantis, conservative Kevin Hayslett disagree,” the ad states. “Hayslett took on cartels as prosecutor, and he’ll seal the border in Congress — no amnesty.”
Despite what the ad may suggest, Luna does have the coveted endorsement from former President Donald Trump, who called her opponents “RINOs.”
This is the second ad buy of Hayslett’s campaign. Hayslett’s campaign previously launched a $164,000 TV ad campaign.
The 30-second ad, titled “Followed,” also underlined Hayslett’s career as a prosecutor.
He has also been promoted by others. Super PAC Stand For Florida launched a $400,000 ad campaign to boost Hayslett near the end of June. That ad series had similar themes, touting Hayslett as a law-and-order conservative who will “stand up to radicals.”
The heavy spending by the Super PAC on the ad campaign shows promise for Hayslett, who has already garnered several prominent endorsements, including support from Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
And, with this additional campaign spend, Hayslett is dominating the ad market against his GOP Primary opponents.
Hayslett faces Air Force veteran Luna, Republican strategist Amanda Makki and Christine Quinn in the Republican Primary. Makki lost the Republican Primary to Luna in 2020. Luna’s campaign has spent $74,000 in ad buys previously, and Makki has dished out $14,000 so far.
Hayslett launched his campaign at the end of January.
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 Obama administration official Eric Lynn — in the race.
Candidates are running to replace outgoing Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist as he runs for Governor.