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Three more Hillsborough Co. Democrats back Andrew Learned for HD 59

Learned is running to keep the seat blue.

House District 59 candidate Andrew Learned picked up three more endorsements from Hillsborough County Democrats this week.

Hillsborough County Commissioners Pat Kemp, Kimberly Overman and Mariella Smith all endorsed Learned, he announced Monday.

“I am proud to support Andrew Learned for Florida House District 59. As a veteran of eight years and three Middle East deployments, he has proven himself a fierce fighter for America,” Kemp said. “We need Andrew Learned to fight for us in Tallahassee to expand healthcare, work for a sustainable, renewable solar energy future and a modern transportation system.”

All three commissioners are elected countywide, signaling their support might be a useful tool as Learned’s campaign forges forward toward the 2020 election.

“Andrew is focused on the issues that will improve the lives of all Floridians. From public education to affordable and accessible housing to affordable healthcare, Andrew will fight for us in Tallahassee and I am proud to offer my full endorsement of his candidacy,” Overman said.

Learned is running for the seat incumbent Democrat Adam Hattersley is vacating to run for Congress. Democrats just flipped the seat blue last year and are hoping to hold onto it as they face a crowd of Republicans vying for the GOP nomination.

“We need to send a leader to Tallahassee who has the best interest of the citizens at heart. Andrew Learned will fight to protect our environment, bring needed transportation dollars back to the district, seek solutions to our affordable/accessible housing crisis and stand up to the special interests who would try to block these necessary improvements in our community,” Smith said.

Learned is running in the Democratic primary against special needs wellness coach Mark Oliver.

Three Republicans are seeking the GOP nomination including Melissa Haskins, Danny Kushmer and Michael Owen.

“These County Commissioners represent everything that is right with public service today. I’m proud to consider them friends and to be on the team fighting to improve the lives of everyone living here in Hillsborough County. I am beyond humbled that they have placed their faith in me to represent the county in Tallahassee in the years to come,” Learned said.

Learned has been an officer in the Navy for ten years and has served three deployments in the Middle-East. He currently serves in the Navy Reserve.

Learned ran in 2018 for Congressional District 15, which Hattersley is now seeking, but lost in the Democratic primary to Kristen Carlson who eventually went on to lose to Ross Spano.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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