William Braddock is a potential Florida Congressional candidate who is accused by his opponent, Anna Paulina Luna, of threatening to hire a hitman to kill her.
A recording emerged; on it, Braddock is accused of threatening, “I really don’t want to have to end anybody’s life for the good of the people of the United States of America. … But if it needs to be done, it needs to be done,” Politico reported.
Luna is a Republican who is running in a primary for Charlie Crist’s seat. Braddock, who is also a Republican, denies the allegations. Braddock also goes by the name “Will Braddock.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Braddock Is Accused of Referring to Luna, an Air Force Veteran, as a ‘Dead Squirrel’
According to Politico, in the recording, Braddock is accused of threatening to send “a Russian and Ukrainian hit squad” to make Luna disappear.
He was speaking with a conservative activist and warned the activist not to support Luna in the primary “because he had access to assassins,” Politico reported.
Politico obtained the recording, which you can listen to here. “I really don’t want to have to end anybody’s life for the good of the people of the United States of America,” Braddock is accused of saying. “That will break my heart. But if it needs to be done, it needs to be done. Luna is a f—ing speed bump in the road. She’s a dead squirrel you run over every day when you leave the neighborhood.”
2. Luna Took Out a Restraining Order Against Braddock
Luna was frightened enough by the allegations that she went to court and obtained an injunction against Braddock for alleged stalking. “I do not feel safe and am currently in fear for my life,” she wrote, according to Florida Politics.
She is accusing him and two other potential candidates of plotting to kill her, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
“Ms. Luna has no comment at this time due to multiple ongoing law enforcement investigations of this matter,” said James Blair, a spokesperson for Luna, to the newspaper. “Those investigations are based upon Mr. Braddock’s own threats and actions, and we are confident the facts will be public at the appropriate time.”
The newspaper quoted the injunction as saying, “I received information yesterday (at midnight) regarding a plan (with a timeline) to murder me made by William Braddock in an effort to prevent me from winning the election for FL-13.” In it, Luna is also accusing two other people of working with Braddock. They are Amanda Makki, who previously lost a GOP primary to Luna, and former congressional candidate, Matt Tito.
Both deny it. Makki wrote on Twitter, “If Luna can’t handle running against another candidate, then she doesn’t have the temperament to be in politics. I really think that she’s exhibiting behavior that I would say is concerning.”
3. Braddock Is a Resident of St. Petersburg
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Braddock is 37 years old and lives in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The newspaper reported that he plans to register with the Federal Election Commission to run for the congressional seat as a Republican.
On his Facebook page, Braddock referred to himself as:
FL-13 Congressional Candidate
One of his only visible posts on Facebook is a picture of former President Donald Trump saluting members of the military.
4. Braddock Called Luna ‘Off Her Rocker’
Braddock criticized Luna to the Tampa Bay Times. “This woman is off her rocker and she does not need to be representing anyone,” Braddock said.
“I don’t really have any plans to prepare because I didn’t do anything wrong,” Braddock said. “It is a false police report and she’s probably going to jail for filing a false police report.” He told the Times he had only met Luna once and shook her husband’s hand.
The injunction bars him from Conservative Grounds, which is a coffee shop, and places Luna speaks, according to Florida Politics.
Luna’s biography describes her as “a strong independent leader, earning her stripes by serving her country, not by serving herself. Raised by a single mother in Southern California’s low-income neighborhoods, Anna learned that she must work hard and be independent to succeed.”
It adds, “Anna joined the Air Force at age 19, earning the Air Force Achievement Medal. She spent a total of six years in the military, including five on active duty. She is a small business owner with a degree in Biology.”
Her husband was also in the U.S. military. “Anna’s husband, Andy, is a special forces operator at MacDill Air Force Base. They met in the Air Force and live in St. Petersburg. Anna is a passionate advocate for veterans,” her campaign bio says. “She experienced firsthand the pitfalls of our veteran care system after enemy combatants shot Andy in Afghanistan. Andy is a Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient.”
5. Braddock Was the Subject of Other Injunctions but Denies Wrongdoing
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Braddock also learned of another injunction from Erin Olszewski, a nurse and author of the book “Undercover Epicenter Nurse” about the coronavirus pandemic, “who says in a petition that she fears for her life and Luna’s.”
She claimed that Braddock threatened to make Luna “disappear” but Braddock told the Times any such language referred to taking her out politically in the primary, not a physical threat.
He was also subject to a previous temporary injunction in Orange County by an ex-fiance, but it was dismissed. Braddock told the Tampa Bay Times that it was “filed after a contentious breakup and had no merit.”