Candidate for Congress Anna Paulina Luna announced the sudden death of his father, George Mayerhofer, died Tuesday in a fatal car accident. His wife, Luna’s mother-in-law, is currently in critical condition in intensive care.
In a statement sent Tuesday afternoon via Luna’s campaign email, the candidate asked for prayers and privacy during this time.
“My dad is someone who loved me deeply. I can’t begin to explain the level of grief I’m feeling right now, but what I will say is this: life is short and time with your family is precious” Luna said in a statement, “For years my father struggled, and it was through his struggles both success and failure that shaped who I am today.”
Luna’s father has been a prominent figure throughout his campaigns for Florida’s 13th congressional district. In a campaign video, Luna recalled his childhood, a time when his family was struggling with drug addiction. In her statement Wednesday, Luna went on to share how she joined the US Air Force and found hope, helping her father emerge from drug addiction and homelessness.
“In 2013, at my request, he traveled to Florida from California. He was living with us. He got sober and for the first time he and I spent many years together where I was finally able to having my father. Those years are priceless,” Luna said in her statement. “He was there for me when my husband was shot in Afghanistan and he was there for me in the lowest moments of the campaign. The last conversation I had with my dad was about seeing him in a few weeks and Andy and I were going up and helping him build a fence.
Luna has already faced a host of personal hurdles this election cycle, including a lawsuit involving a former opponent William Braddock, who is he unsuccessfully sought a permanent injunction against after he threatened to kill her. In her passionate testimony, Luna said that Braddock “put her through emotional hell.”
Concluding her statement, Luna then asked for prayers and privacy during this time.
“I’m telling you these things because to some I may just be a candidate, but to others there’s a big part of my life that I’ve shared and some of you have got to know. The human factor. That we’re all trying to do the right thing and get through this crazy life,” Luna said.
“I will end this by saying this: I believe in God. I know my father loved me deeply. I know my dad would tell me to keep going and he would make me a fire in heaven (a bonfire). I ask you during this time to pray for our family. I also ask you to give us privacy during this time.