When a Belgian Malinois called Gunner bit into a 9-year-old child at a fishing competition in Florida earlier this month, it didn’t seem to be the kind of occurrence that might have national political ramifications.
The dog attack, however, has now become an odd battleground in an intra-Republican dispute for a fiercely fought House seat, pitting Trump advisor Roger Stone and his associates against Trump-backed congressional candidate Anna Paulina Luna.
The dog attack is the latest development in the fight for Florida’s 13th Congressional District, a key Republican pickup chance that Rep. Charlie Crist (D) is foregoing in order to run for governor. Crist’s departure has triggered a primary scramble among Republican candidates, which has included charges of a murder conspiracy, expulsion from a conservative conference, and now an unusually aggressive dog.
Luna and her husband, Andrew Gamberzky, went to a fishing tournament on a beach in Madeira Beach, Florida, on November 7. Gamberzky, an Afghan combat veteran, brought Gunner, his mental support dog. However, as a group of youngsters nearby were playing football, Gunner went for the ball, missed, and instead ripped a nearly four-inch-long bite off of a 9-year-upper old’s arm. The bite was so deep that the officer saw what seemed to be fat tissue exposed through the incision.
“I spoke with Andrew, who stated when the incident occurred there were kids playing catch with a football in the grass area of the field,” a Pinellas County police officer wrote in a report reviewed by The Daily Beast. “The young boy who was bit, caught the football and walked / ran past his dog ‘Gunner.’ Gunner jumped towards the victim in what appeared to be a playful attempt to get the football from him.”
Luna’s campaign claimed in a statement that the dog “is sorry.”
“This unfortunate accident happened as Gunner was approached while working and was excited to play with the football the young man was playing with,” the statement read. “We wish the young man a speedy recovery and have been in correspondence with his Father, as well as offered to cover his doctor visit. Gunner also says he is sorry.”
Stone’s supporters capitalized on the dog bite. Stone’s good friend Laura Loomer called Luna “Anna Paulina Lunatic” in a post about the dog bite on the social media app Telegram.
“She needs to put her dog on a leash,” Loomer wrote. “They say people are a lot like their animals, and in this case, Anna and her dog are both CRAZY AND OUT OF CONTROL. Those b*tches both need to HEEL.”
Stone, who dressed up as Luna for Halloween, has given a series of stories criticizing the candidate, labeling them “self-explanatory.”
The campaign assaults over the dog bite are just the latest strange twist in the contest, which began in June when Luna sought a restraining order against rival candidate William Braddock, saying he planned to kill her.
Luna’s case was strengthened when a Luna associate overheard Braddock discussing hiring a “Russian and Ukrainian hit squad” to “eliminate” Luna. Braddock has not been charged criminally in this matter.
“I do not feel safe, and I am currently in fear for my life from Mr. Braddock,” Luna wrote in a court filing.
Braddock finally withdrew from the race. However, in her court documents on the alleged murder plan, Luna also listed key challenger Amanda Makki and future candidate and Stone buddy Matt Tito as being engaged in some type of agreement with Braddock in order to derail Luna. Both candidates were outraged by their inclusion in the document, telling Politico in June that they had no ties to Braddock.
Tito, who has not yet formally joined the race, was enraged in July when he claimed Luna had him ejected out of a Turning Point USA meeting in Tampa due of their animosity.
According to Tito, Luna reportedly requested that TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk remove him.
“She got me kicked out of a TPUSA event and lied to Charlie Kirk,” stated Tito.
Trump’s backing of Luna in September enraged her possible opponents as well as Stone’s team.
“As more comes to light about Anna Paulina Luna, I think President Trump will realize she is not the standard-bearer for the America First movement that she has falsely claimed to be,” stated Stone protégé Jacob Engels.
But the Trumpworld turmoil and frustrations don’t stop there.
One of the numerous factors that Tito believes disqualifies Luna from obtaining the coveted Trump endorsement is that she is “banned from Fox for saying something inappropriate.” In 2018, Fox apologized on Luna’s behalf for comparing Hillary Clinton to “herpes.”
Tito has declared that he is “likely” to join the increasingly acrimonious contest, with Stone serving as his advisor.
“I mean, listen—this is a complete mess,” Tito said. “Somehow, someway Luna got Trump’s endorsement.”