An obscure Florida Republican congressional candidate was heard on a recording claiming that he could send a “hit squad” after a leading GOP candidate in the race.
Politico reports that William Braddock, a 37-year-old lawyer, made the comments about Anna Paulina Luna, who is running for a vacant seat in Florida’s 13th District. Braddock was speaking with Erin Olszewski, a conservative activist who was so alarmed by the conversation that she turned it over to the police.
“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 said, according to Politico.
“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.”
Later, Braddock said that to make sure Luna didn’t win the race, he would “call up my Russian and Ukrainian hit squad, and within 24 hours, they’re sending me pictures of her disappearing,” adding that he wasn’t joking.
Asked by Politico whether it was him on the recording, Braddock dissembled, and claimed the tape may have been altered.
On Wednesday, the Tampa Bay Times reported that Luna had obtained a stalking injunction against Braddock, who she claims is working with two other political adversaries to kill her. One of them, Amanda Makki, ran against Luna in a primary for the same congressional seat last year.
“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,” she wrote.
Luna claimed that Braddock had attempted to make contact with her and her husband multiple times.
“This woman is off her rocker and she does not need to be representing anyone,” Braddock told the Times.
The Tampa-area congressional seat is up for grabs because Democratic congressman Charlie Crist is mounting a gubernatorial run against Ron DeSantis. (Crist was once governor himself.) Luna triumphed in the GOP primary for the seat last year, but lost to Crist in the general election.