ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A Florida judge agreed Friday to delay a case in which a Republican congressional candidate claims a GOP rival stalked her and discussed a plot to have her killed.
Pinellas County Circuit Judge Doneene Loar rescheduled the case of candidate Anna Paulina Luna for Sept. 14. Luna is seeking the District 13 congressional seat being vacated by Democrat Charlie Crist, who is running for governor. The district covers Pinellas County, including St. Petersburg.
Luna and GOP activist Erin Olszewski are seeking a permanent restraining order barring William Braddock from having any contact with them. Braddock is another GOP congressional candidate who allegedly indicated in text messages and a recorded call that he wanted Luna dead.
“I do not feel safe and I am currently in fear for my life from Mr. Braddock,” Luna said in her petition.
Braddock has previously denied the accusations and has not been charged with a crime. He did not speak during Friday’s brief video conference hearing. Loar, however, reminded Braddock that a temporary restraining order prohibiting contact with Luna and Olszewski remains in effect.
“This will be the final continuance on Mr. Braddock’s behalf,” Loar said.
In 2020, Luna lost by about 24,600 votes to the far better-known Crist in the District 13 congressional race in Pinellas County. Crist previously was Florida governor as a Republican and has held or run for several other elected posts.
Other candidates seeking the congressional seat so far are Democratic state legislators Ben Diamond and Michele Raynor.