Anna Paulina Luna
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Florida's 13th district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2023
|Preceded by||Charlie Crist|
Anna Paulina Mayerhofer
May 6, 1989
Santa Ana, California, U.S.
|Education||University of West Florida (BS)|
|Branch/service||United States Air Force|
|Years of service||2009–2014|
|Awards||Air Force Achievement Medal|
Anna Paulina Luna (née Mayerhofer; born May 6, 1989) is an American politician and activist serving as the U.S. representative from Florida's 13th congressional district since 2023. A member of the Republican Party, she is the first Mexican-American woman elected to Congress from Florida.
Anna Paulina Mayerhofer was born in 1989 to George Mayerhofer, an architect, and Monica Todd, an elementary school teacher and stay-at-home mother, in Santa Ana, California. Her mother has Mexican-American ancestry and her father has Mexican and German ancestry. Her paternal grandfather was born in Germany and, according to family, drafted into the Wehrmacht during World War II and two of her maternal great-grandparents also served in the United States Armed Forces during the same war. Her maternal great-grandfather was an American immigrant to Mexico.
Luna's parents never married; her mother married another man when Luna was about eight years old. Luna was raised in the California cities of Santa Ana, Irvine, Aliso Viejo, and Los Angeles, and has called Santa Monica her hometown. She attended high school in Los Angeles.
Luna has a brother and a sister.
Luna served as an airfield management specialist in the U.S. Air Force from 2009 to 2014, first at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri and then at Hurlburt Field in Florida. While enlisted, she appeared in 2013 in SI.com's Friday's P.M. Hot Clicks and briefly worked as a cocktail waitress at the Red Rose Gentlemen's Club, a strip club in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. She later appeared as a "Hometown Hottie" for Fort Walton Beach in Maxim in 2014. Luna gained a following as an Instagram influencer.
In 2017, Luna earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of West Florida.
Luna became the Director of Hispanic Engagement for Turning Point USA in 2018. In a November 2018 Fox News segment, she compared Hillary Clinton to herpes, leading the network to cut the segment short and host Rick Leventhal and anchor Arthel Neville to apologize to viewers. In 2020, Luna was featured in the PragerU documentary-style series Americanos. Later that year, she appeared at a We Build the Wall event as vice president of Bienvenido, an organization dedicated to conservative Hispanic outreach. In March 2021, Luna became the chief correspondent for the conservative digital media platform El American English.
Luna decided to run for Congress in 2018. She entered the Republican primary for Florida's 13th congressional district in September 2019, and Matt Gaetz endorsed her in November 2019. She was also endorsed by Charlie Kirk, Elise Stefanik, Students for Trump, and former St. Petersburg, Florida mayor Bill Foster. In July 2020, she and her husband purchased a house in St. Petersburg, near MacDill Air Force Base, where her husband was stationed. Luna won the Republican primary, but lost to incumbent Charlie Crist in the general election.
Luna was elected as the U.S. representative for Florida's 13th congressional district in the 2022 election, defeating Democratic nominee Eric Lynn, a former senior advisor for Barack Obama. Before the Republican primary, another Republican candidate privately threatened to have her assassinated by a hit squad. In June 2021, Luna was granted a temporary stalking injunction against her primary opponent, William Braddock, after a friend of Luna's recorded Braddock threatening to make Luna "disappear" and claiming he had "access to a hit squad, too, Ukrainians and Russians". Braddock dropped out of the race after the judge granted the temporary injunction. The judge dismissed the request for a permanent injunction, saying she found one instance of harassment when the law required two.
Donald Trump endorsed Luna, and Marjorie Taylor Greene campaigned for her in Florida. She is the first Mexican-American woman elected to Congress from Florida.
During the 2023 Speaker of the House election, Luna voted against Kevin McCarthy on the first 11 ballots, instead nominating Representative Jim Jordan and later Representative Byron Donalds.
In May 2023, Luna co-sponsored resolutions by Marjorie Taylor Greene to impeach Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, and U.S. Attorney for D.C. Matthew M. Graves.
In May 2023, Luna sponsored a resolution to have Adam Schiff removed from Congress and fined $16 million.
For the 118th Congress:
In June 2022, Luna said of the 2020 United States presidential election, "I believe that President Trump won that election, and I do believe that voter fraud occurred." The previous month, she attended a red carpet event and screening of 2000 Mules, a film that claims to show evidence of widespread electoral fraud in the 2020 election.
Luna has said she favors abortion bans, and has called herself a "pro-life extremist". She has said her anti-abortion stance originates from having dissected a chicken egg in college and seeing the chick react to a scalpel blade: "God was using that opportunity to really wake me up."
In an August 2022 interview, Luna said that she would support a ban on U.S. oil exports to increase the domestic oil supply, saying, "The United States has literally one of the biggest supplies of cleanest oil in the entire world. There's no reason why we need to be going to places like Saudi Arabia or even Venezuela to get those oil sources." She said this view belonged to an "America First" platform, adding, "If it means not selling to other countries so that here in the United States, we can literally lower the gas prices, that's what I agree with."
Luna has said tourism is one of her highest priorities due to its importance in her district.
Luna was among the 71 Republicans who voted against final passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 in the House.
Luna's website states that she opposes "radical left-wing gender theory being pushed on our kids".
Luna appeared on the February/March 2020 cover of Ballistic magazine, which called her "DC's Next 2A Warrior". In February 2023, she was one of several members of Congress seen wearing AR-15 rifle lapel pins.
In September 2020, Luna threatened to sue Twitter because the company refused to verify her account, alleging "political prejudice" and calling it "election meddling", and in October 2020, Luna's campaign said it filed a complaint with the FEC over Twitter's refusal to verify Luna's account. The FEC complaint said that Twitter violated the equal time rule by verifying Charlie Crist but not Luna and asked the FEC to force Twitter to verify Luna's account.
During a combative House of Representatives Oversight Committtee hearing on February 8, 2023, Luna alleged that Twitter, the federal government, "leftist nonprofits", and potentially the Democratic National Committee had acted jointly to censor Americans in November 2020 through the Jira project management platform, and that it violated the First Amendment.
In 2023, Luna was among 47 Republicans to vote in favor of H.Con.Res. 21, which directed President Joe Biden to remove U.S. troops from Syria within 180 days. That same year Luna was among 52 Republicans who voted in favor H.Con.Res. 30, which would remove American troops from Somalia.
Luna is a cosponsor of the Ukraine Fatigue Resolution (H.Res.113), sponsored by Florida Representative Matt Gaetz. The bill would suspend all US foreign aid to Ukraine for the War in Ukraine and demand that all combatants in this conflict reach a peace agreement immediately.
In 2023, Luna was among 98 Republicans to vote for a ban on cluster munitions to Ukraine. The same year, Luna voted for a moratorium on aid to Ukraine.
Luna has claimed she was raised as a Messianic Jew, a Protestant Christian movement for Jewish people, by her father and that she is "a small fraction Ashkenazi". But members of her extended family have said her father was Catholic, and that "they were not aware of him practicing any form of Judaism while Luna was growing up". Her mother has said that Luna's father was a "Christian that embraced the Messianic faith" after getting clean from drug addiction. Her grandfather, Heinrich Mayerhofer, identified as Catholic when he immigrated to Canada in 1954.
In 2020, Luna claimed in a PragerU documentary that her "entire mother's side of the family and father's side of the family on both sides are from Mexico". Her paternal grandfather, however, was German.
Luna has said that she "grew up in the welfare system" and was raised by her mother on government assistance with "no family to rely on". Her father was a drug addict, and she has said that at the age of 10 she found his bag of meth and was raised in a "broken home mentality". She has said that her grandmother died of AIDS due to heroin use. Luna has claimed that she and her mother lacked "a strong extended network of people" who could help care for them, and that she had attended "over six high schools" before graduating.
Luna's cousin has said, "The whole family kind of raised her—my dad was a part of her life when she was younger and we all kind of coddled her ... She was always a part of everything, all these family gatherings and activities". Luna's aunt said, "She had everything. What she needed and more ... And not only did [Luna's mother] provide for her, but [Luna's grandfather] did, too".
Luna has disputed these accounts, saying she "barely spent any time with them in her entire life". Luna's mother said she had to rely on welfare for periods of time, especially while she was putting herself through college at the University of California, Irvine and then at the UCLA School of Law, and that she was the only source of meaningful financial support for the family.
Air Force members who served with Luna in Missouri said she wore designer clothing and that she had mentioned having nannies as a child. Luna's mother said she owned a designer coat she bought at a thrift store and was known to wear it frequently, and that the idea of her having had nannies is "preposterous".
Luna's campaign website biography says that throughout her childhood and teenage years, her father "spent time in and out of incarceration", and that she communicated with him "through letters to jail and collect calls". Luna's mother and aunt said that he served several short stints in jail for not paying child support. Luna's mother also said that he spent at least one year in jail for a drug-related charge.
A dismissed misdemeanor drug possession case indicated that Luna's father was in custody around the time of two court appearances, but the case information did not specify the length of his confinement, and court proceedings lasted only about three months.
In 2019, Luna said that she suffered "enduring trauma" after experiencing a "home invasion" by her landlord at 4 a.m. while stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base: "Had my friend Jeremy not been there to protect me, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be standing right here in front of you guys right now."
Luna's roommate said she did not remember such an incident. Instead, the roommate recalled a daytime break-in when Luna was not home. A Warrensburg Police Department report described the July 2010 incident as a "burglary not in progress". The report states that Luna and her roommate had reported to their landlord that the home's rear door had repeatedly been left open, so the landlord installed new locks, deadbolts and latches, but the problem persisted. Police records indicate that no suspect was arrested or charged in the case.
During her first campaign for Congress, in 2020, Luna sought a stalking injunction request against her uncle, Edward Mayerhofer, after he questioned her biography on social media.
|Source: Secretary of State of Florida | Election Results|
Luna is married to Andrew Gamberzky, a U.S. Air Force combat controller. After marriage, she changed her surname to Gamberzky. In 2019, she took her grandmother's maiden name, Luna, to represent her Hispanic heritage. She did this after her mother changed her name to Luna after a divorce. Luna identified herself as Hispanic in 2019.
Luna announced she is expecting her first child in August 2023.
Luna has authored two books:
But much about Luna, 31...
Luna was born Anna Paulina Mayerhofer in 1989 in Santa Ana, Calif. Her father, George Mayerhofer, was a drug addict, according to Luna and other family members, and he and Luna's mother never married.
Originally from Santa Monica, California. I recently got out of the military in January after 5 years of service to pursue my medical education . . . . I have made my personal goal to have traveled to 20 countries before my 25th birthday and this december I will have completed it. I grew up pretty much a tomboy
My entire mother's side of the family and father's side of the family on both sides are from Mexico
In Florida, Anna Paulina Luna of the state's redrawn 13th District picked up the seat vacated by Charlie Crist, the failed Democratic gubernatorial candidate. [...] She also made history by being the first Mexican American woman elected to represent Florida in Congress.
I grew up in the welfare system and know the price of a buck
Luna's claim that she was 'raised as a Messianic Jew by her father' directly contradicts another refrain of hers: that her mother raised her alone with 'no family to rely on.' Other family members have also said that Luna was always with them and supported by an extended family network growing up.