Florida Republican reportedly threatened with Russian and Ukrainian ‘hit squad’ by potential rival

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 (YouTube/WFLA News Channel 8)
(YouTube/WFLA News Channel 8)

A potential political rival in a hotly contested race for a Florida congressional seat has reportedly threatened a “Russian and Ukrainian hit squad” against a GOP primary election candidate, according to tape recordings obtained by Politico.

William Braddock reportedly made the threats against Anna Paulina Luna – one of the GOP candidates set to compete for a district currently represented by Democrat and former governor Charlie Crist – during a phone call with a conservative activist, according to the outlet.

Last week, Ms Luna obtained a stalking injunction against Mr Braddock, whom she claimed in her petition was conspiring with two other “political opponents” to “murder” her.

“I feel and fear that this is an orchestrated attempt on my life being organized and carried out by William Braddock,” her petition said. She accused Mr Braddock and two other people, Matt Tito and Amanda Makki, of working to “take her out”.

“I really don’t want to have to end anybody’s life for the good of the people of the United States of America,” Mr Braddock allegedly said during a recording of the conversation obtained by Politico. “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.”

Ms Luna – an Air Force veteran who has previously been endorsed by Donald Trump and US Rep Matt Gaetz – won her party’s primary to compete in the 13th Congressional District race in 2020 but lost in the general election to Mr Crist.

She intends to run again in 2022. Mr Crist will not seek another House term and will enter the governor’s race, opening up a free for all in the district as Mr Crist joins Democratic candidates competing to oust Republican Governor Ron DeSantis.

Mr Braddock’s alleged threats were recorded by activist Erin Olszewski, who gave the recordings to police.

“She’s gonna be gone. Period,” Mr Braddock allegedly says when asked what would happen if Ms Luna won the upcoming election. “I call up my Russian and Ukrainian hit squad, and within 24 hours, they’re sending me pictures of her disappearing.”

A hearing to extend Ms Luna’s injunction is set for 22 June.

Mr Braddock told Politico there was “no proof” that he mentioned hit squads and claimed that the recording “may even be altered and edited”, claiming that the audio “is a dirty political tactic that has caused a lot of people a lot of stress and is completely unnecessary”.

The Independent has requested comment from Mr Braddock.

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