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Mark Oliver to launch HD 59 campaign

Oliver is a first time candidate.

Florida House District 59 candidate Mark Oliver is launching his campaign this weekend. He’s hosting a kickoff party Saturday at 6:00 p.m. at CrossFit Sabal Park located at 1615 Allison Woods Lane in Tampa.

Oliver is running against Andrew Learned in the Democratic primary to replace Adam Hattersley.

Hattersley is leaving office to run for Congress in Ross Spano’s district.

“I believe we have opportunities in Florida to expand access to health care, proactively tackle climate change with 21st century infrastructure, invest in an education system that caters to the needs of  all our students, as well as lead the nation in special needs programs that are fully funded and help people with disabilities live their best life,” Oliver said. “Together we can seize these opportunities and build a better, stronger Florida for our families, communities, and future generations.”

Oliver chose CrossFit Sabal Park because it’s the home field for Special Olympics athletes he coaches in powerlifting, track and volleyball.

Five of Oliver’s team have won state championships in recent years.

Oliver’s work with special needs athletes led him to become an advocate for people with disabilities. He founded Specialty Fit, a nonprofit that provides fitness training and mentorship to more than 400 students with disabilities in Central Florida.

Mark has dedicated himself to providing people with disabilities the opportunity and support to overcome obstacles and fulfill their promise. He plans to do the same for the people of District 59.

More than 100 people have RSVP’d for Oliver’s campaign kickoff party.

Oliver is a first-time candidate. His opponent in the primary ran for Congress last year. Learned lost in the Democratic primary for Congressional District 15 against Kristen Carlson who went on to lose to Spano in the general election.

As Democrats try to wrangle a seat in Congress, the local party is working to keep its seat in the Florida House. Hattersley flipped the seat blue last year after it had previously been held by Spano.

The winner of the Democratic primary in House District 59 will face either Melissa Haskins or Michael Owen, the two Republicans also running for the seat.

House District 59 includes parts of east Hillsborough including Brandon, Progress Village, Valrico and Riverview.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at Janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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