Gage Skidmore via Flickr

In 2020, a candidate emerged in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Her advertised name: Anna Paulina Luna. I first learned of her probably the way most conservatives did. I received a mailer with a beautiful woman, dressed in military apparel, holding an assault rifle, and it said she was running for Congress. My first comment to myself out loud, “That chick looks like a badass.” If that’s what she and her handlers were going for, it immediately worked on me.

I then quickly researched what district she was in. It wasn’t anywhere close to me. While I live in Orlando, she was running for a Congressional district that covers St. Petersburg, Florida, and most of Pinellas County. The district was represented (and still is) by Democrat Charlie Crist. I already knew it was a very heavy Democrat district and that local boy Charlie Crist is popular there (even among some Republicans) because he was born and raised there and his father is a doctor who has delivered thousands of babies. 

I’ve never liked Charlie Crist (even when he was a Republican) but I know he’s sharp at one thing: he is an excellent retail politician. So, within minutes of getting the mailer with the “badass chick” on it, I immediately threw it away knowing Luna had no chance. 

A week or so later I was talking to a friend of mine who likes to donate to lots of strong conservative candidates across the country. When I brought up the name of Anna Paulina Luna, he immediately said, “She has no chance in that district. I’m not going to waste my money on her when I could give to other candidates who have a shot.” I concurred. I moved on and didn’t think much about her again. 

I later learned she raised quite a sum of money and used the race to raise her profile among conservatives in different parts of the country. Even with Donald Trump on the ballot – a base she naturally aligns with – she got beat by Charlie Crist by 6 points. Trump helped propel many new Congressional Republican candidates into office in different areas of Florida, but it didn’t work for Luna. 

In 2022, there are hopes that the newly redistricted map will better favor a Republican in this part of Florida. Charlie Crist has also announced he’s running for Governor again, so – unless something there changes – he won’t be on the ballot. 

Luna isn’t the only Republican eyeing this Congressional seat in 2022. Several others are looking at it, and apparently, they are a threat to her. This is where Luna has gotten herself into some controversy lately. She recently claimed that not one – but three – of her potential Republican opponents are plotting to murder her. I couldn’t believe the headline when it ran. I also couldn’t believe it because I personally know one of those people, Matt Tito. 

Matt is a Marine Corps veteran, who served two deployments abroad, including one in Afghanistan. He’s in his 30s, a tall and strong dude. The last time I saw him in person he had just come from the gym and met up with me at a Smoothie King. Later that day, he was attending some Memorial Day festivities in St. Petersburg. Matt has an MBA from the University of Miami and works in the private sector. He made a run for a state house seat in 2020. He learned how insurmountable the odds are in a strong Democratic district and I don’t think he’ll make the mistake of doing that again. He’s now waiting on those new district maps to see if it’s worth it for a Republican like him to make a run for Congress. In 2020, he too started making a name for himself due to his run for a state house seat. I have followed him ever since and I believe he’s exactly the kind of person most of us would like to see in office. He has an incredible passion for public service, one that is emblematic of his prior military service. 

It’s really baffling that Anna Paulina Luna would go to this length and make the wild claims she did. It is all based on an illegal recording that one of her friends and allies, Erin Olszewski, had made of one of her other potential opponents, a strange fellow named William Braddock. Mr. Braddock had been looking at making a run for Congress and on a phone call with Luna’s friend, he said he would “take her out.” 

Listening to the botched recording myself, I think this was mere political rhetoric and not an actual physical threat to Luna (and certainly not an intent to murder her). I have to admit, Braddock seems a bit of a looney tune himself. Luna filed a police report against Braddock and the local police have since dismissed the case, saying Braddock was not a threat to her. 

Either way, it’s quite strange that Luna would group in Tito and another potential opponent, Amanda Makki, into her request for a restraining order. In public comments she claimed that both Tito and Makki were conspiring with Braddock to murder her. I don’t know Anna Paulina Luna, but when I read this, I have to think she is either a psychopath or is suffering from mental illness (or perhaps both). I think her friends and family would do well to keep an eye on her and perhaps politics is not the best thing for her right now.

Since Anna Paulina has produced such a stunt, I have done some additional research on her and found out some more revealing information. 

First, Anna Paulina Luna is not her real name. Her name is actually Anna Paulina Mayerhofer. You see, Anna was born to parents of Mexican and German descent. She is married, but her husband’s last name is Gambersky. It seems she wanted to make herself sound more Hispanic, and Mayerhofer or Gambersky, weren’t working for that image. So she just created a “stage name” – Luna – and went with it. 

Perhaps this stage name also helped her become the Hispanic Outreach Coordinator for Turning Point USA (a role she no longer has) and serve as a producer for the PragerU series “Americanos.” In 2021, her resume as a Hispanic Outreach Coordinator helped her become the Chief Correspondent for El American English. I suppose Fox News or Newsmax hasn’t been impressed enough yet.

I am not here to judge her “Hispanic-ness.” After all, her background sounds a lot like mine. I am half-Hispanic. My father is from Cuba, but my mother is not Hispanic at all. Unlike Luna, I actually have a very Hispanic name and if I was trying to style my image as someone with Hispanic background, I wouldn’t have to change my name. With that said, I think the fact that someone would change their name to sound more ethnic is actually quite strange. Then again, politics is mostly for the strange. 

I have been in and around politics for some time. Oftentimes family or friends will see this interest and ask me when I am going to run for something. That’s when I usually respond: “Have you seen the kind of people in politics? I’m sorry. That’s not for me.” Politics attracts a lot of narcissists and those who crave power. Some will apparently even go so far as to change their name and accuse their potential opponents of trying to murder them. 

And if that’s not strange enough, weeks later when she learned that political consultant and close Trump associate, Roger Stone, was considering helping Matt Tito with his possible candidacy, Luna claimed that Roger Stone was trying to poison her. I wish I was making this up. These are the weird fantasies that exist in the minds of the mentally ill. This is not proper behavior for someone who is trying to demonstrate they are fit for public office.

Then again, I don’t know if this should all have come as a surprise. Luna not only changed her name to run for office but has also improperly exaggerated her time in the military. Again, this is not to discount her military service. I applaud her – and thank her – for that. But in her political photos – the one that appeared on that mailer I saw – she is not only wearing an Army uniform, self-admittedly from the Army Surplus store (she served in the Air Force) but is carrying an assault rifle. For the record, she was never deployed.

In politics these days, image seems to be everything. And Luna knows it. In a 2017 interview with the Canadian lifestyle magazine, Skyn, she said, “I’m able to take on different personalities depending on what image I am going for. I think getting into character of what you are selling is super important.”

And this is where I’m going to tell you something else I learned. Luna was once an avid supporter of President Barack Obama. I gasped when I learned this. Sure, one’s politics can change and maybe hers did. In fact, many people changed from supporting Obama in 2008 or 2012 to supporting Trump in 2016. But considering all her image changes – including moving from California to Florida to run for Congress – one has to wonder where her true allegiances are.

Anna also made a short living as a swimsuit model and continues to flaunt the image of the sexy young woman who can brandish a firearm, put on some military fatigues, look into the camera, and lure in male voters who want to look at her and female voters who want to be like her. 

But Anna Paulina Luna is a fraud. I normally would leave her alone. I don’t like infighting among conservatives – if that’s what she is. But Anna has picked a fight against other true and proven conservatives and it’s time we all do our part to expose grifters like her who are hiding out in our movement.

Her most recent escapade was just last week at Turning Point USA’s Student Action Summit in Tampa, Florida. On day one of that Summit, her potential opponent Matt Tito not only attended but was given four VIP tickets by one of the head event coordinators with TPUSA. The next day, Luna showed up and found out Tito was there and lost it.

I serve on TPUSA’s Advisory Council and have plenty of friends who were at the event. She ran to some of TPUSA’s leadership and voiced her complaints. She lied to them, telling them that Matt Tito was part of the plot to murder her, that he didn’t take the recording by William Braddock seriously, and that now he was “taunting” Luna at the event. I talked to Matt. He never even saw Luna at the event. He had only just learned she was there that day, amid a sea of 5,000 people. 

But on day two of the event, security guards came up to Tito, asked him for his ID and then told him that he needed to leave. He did so peacefully, like a good soldier.

One of those security officers – on the payroll for TPUSA – was told that Luna was also going to be asked to leave. He was lied to. She was never asked to leave. He told a friend of mine that he could tell immediately that Tito was a good guy because of the way he reacted – he acted like a Boy Scout.

Matt knows that the security officers were just doing their job. He also knew I was on the Advisory Council for TPUSA and reached out to me and others within TPUSA’s leadership believing when everyone did their homework, they would realize what had just happened and let him back in. 

However, the Student Action Summit is a major event and people are busy. He wasn’t able to be successful in reaching whoever needed to make the call for him to re-enter the premises. 

Luna’s stunt had worked. She lied to the staff at TPUSA to get her potential Congressional primary opponent, Matt Tito, kicked out, barring him from the opportunity to hear from speakers and network with fellow conservatives — in an event held in his hometown area – for an organization he had been an advocate for and hopes to still be. With my involvement with TPUSA over the past decade, I have never seen them kick out someone because of a political disagreement. So it is downright disgusting and outrageous for me to see that Luna was able to exert this influence and once again lie to get her way. It’s actually what led me to take the time to share these thoughts with you.

Anna Paulina Luna is an absolute fraud on every level. It is about time every true conservative keeps their distance from her and no longer takes her word seriously. Her resume of lies is getting longer. And soon you may be on it.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Francisco Gonzalez is founder and CEO of Fearless Journeys and host of the Agents of Innovation podcast, where he interviews entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and artists. He is also visiting professor at the Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala City, teaching courses on entrepreneurship and innovation. He was previously the director of philanthropy for National Review Institute. He serves on the boards of The Philadelphia Society, AMIkids Orlando, and on the Advisory Council for Turning Point USA.

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1 year ago

If all of this is true Stone and Titto are too slow to sue her for slandering and defamation to gain a political advantage.
Neither Luna or Gonzalez look hispanic enough to be believe to be full hispanic heritage, why Gonzalez helps Guatemala University, going there is to get drugs.
Luna is not even a common or hispanic last name the way she adopted it, she probably picked it because she is a lunatic, or she got it from the fictional character of Grand Theft Auto not for a real hispanic background.

1 year ago
Reply to  marina

If all is true, we sure do not need another Pelosi in congress!!!

Rachel De La Girondarc
Rachel De La Girondarc
1 year ago

Spot on hermanó 👌🏽

1 year ago

It is not ‘hispanic’ that she is after. it is CATHOLIC. CATHOLIC TRAITORS vote for CATHOLIC TRAITORS. R and D mean nothing…
Throughout history, all military and all other means of defense have been used to defend a nation. The reason for no defense is that a third of all elected are CATHOLIC “C” TRAITORS and keeping the borders open. Half call themselves r, half d.
Vote for ANY CATHOLIC “C” and you vote for a traitor.
Vote for ANY CATHOLIC “C” TRAITOR and the borders will never be secured.

1 year ago
Reply to  Alfie

Please don’t play the religion card in this conversation. Yes, there are people who claim their religion as a political play for power in every religion known, but true believers of any religion don’t use it as a power play. You entirely missed the point of this article–which is political players are using fake presentations of themselves and their “beliefs” to gain “followers/fans”. An elected official is supposed to be working for the people they are representing, NOT running a popularity contest for financial gain.

Robert Smith
Robert Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Alfie

Luna is that you??