Rep. Burgess Owens briefly posted a tweet promoting Anna Paulina Luna's run for Congress in Florida.
Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT), on Thursday tweeted out support for Anna Paulina Luna, a Republican running for Congress in Florida, and then quickly removed the statement without explaining why.
"This is great news for Florida," Burgess wrote on his campaign Twitter account, quoting a tweet from Luna, who is running for Florida's 13th Congressional District.
The seat is currently held by Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist, who defeated Luna in 2020 by 6% of the vote. Crist is running for the Democratic nomination for governor of Florida, leaving the seat open. Democrat Michele Rayner-Goolsby, a state representative, is also running for the seat.
After the tweet had been up for a minute, Burgess deleted it, but it was preserved by Politwoops, a ProPublica service that archives tweets deleted by politicians. The website currently shows 98 pages of tweets deleted from Burgess' campaign and congressional accounts.
The Utah Democratic Party criticized Owens' endorsement, noting in a statement, "Burgess Owens tweeted and deleted a statement endorsing Anna Paulina Luna, a far-right extremist running for Congress in Florida; just the latest in a long, long string of alignments with the dangerous 'QAnon' conspiracy theory and FBI-labeled domestic terrorism threat."
In 2019, Luna posted on social media a video of herself approaching then-Sen. Kamala Harris in an airport, yelling at Harris as she attempted to take a photograph with a supporter and accusing her of "damaging what is happening with Hispanic women and children at the border because she is promoting family reunification."
During the 2020 campaign, Luna appeared on "The Common Sense Show," a program promoting the debunked QAnon conspiracy theory, which falsely alleges that celebrities and politicians are involved in child sex-trafficking, cannibalism, and satanic cults.
Luna told the hosts she was "super glad to finally be able to reach out and talk to you guys" and that speaking on the program "definitely gives me hope for the future." Luna has since claimed she "doesn't necessarily know what QAnon is."
While working for the right-wing group Turning Point USA in 2018 as its Hispanic outreach director, Luna appeared on Fox News and said of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, "She won't go away. She's like herpes." She was taken off the air, and Fox apologized for her words. Luna claimed she didn't realize she was on the air when making the statement.
During his own campaign for Congress in 2020, Owens appeared multiple times on a pro-QAnon program, soliciting donations for his campaign.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.