Charlie Crist sails to easy victory over Anna Paulina Luna, but not as easy as thought

Charlie Crist sails to easy victory over Anna Paulina Luna, but not as easy as thought

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist delivered a sound victory to Democrats Tuesday night over GOP challenger Anna Paulina Luna . With XXX precincts reporting, Crist had a solid 53% of the vote to Luna’s 47% with 92% of precincts reported. While Crist’s victory is resounding, it was the first major competition he’s faced since first being elected to Congress in 2016 over then-incumbent David Jolly and it’s a margin far less than polls or previous elections suggested. The reelection bid of a well-liked, well-funded Congressional incumbent is supposed to be a mundane affair. There are press conferences, endorsements from like-minded officials and (oh yeah, we almost forgot) a challenger hailing from the duller side of “meh.” That’s what everyone thought Crist’s run for a third term would be. But this, as we all know, is 2020. Crist instead faced a notable challenge from Luna, a Trumpy influencer type whose gun-forward campaign photos helped get the 31-year-old Air Force veteran national attention. For brief few years, Florida’s 13th Congressional District was something rare: a true swing district. Longtime Congressman Bill Young , a moderate Republican, held the seat for decades until he died in 2013. His former aide, Jolly, then won the seat, but lost it to Crist in 2016 after state lawmakers redrew the district to include more Democrats in the wake of a gerrymandering lawsuit. The district runs roughly from Pinellas Point in St. Pete north to Clearwater, covering peninsular Pinellas County. Democrats outnumber Republicans here 201,088 to 176,857. […]

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