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Andrew Learned ends 2019 with strong fundraising report

Learned still trails one Republican opponent.

House District 59 candidate Andrew Learned closed out 2019 with a banner fundraising month.

Learned had his second most productive month of fundraising since he started in August, raising more than $14,000. Learned raised more than $20,000 in August.

Learned’s December earnings far outpaced any of his opponents in the race. His Democratic challenger in the primary, Mark Stephan Oliver, raised just $170.

Two Republicans are seeking their party’s nomination for the seat. Michael Owen raised $4,800 in December while Danny Kushmer raised $5,455.

Owen is leading the fundraising race with nearly $110,000 raised to date. Learned trails him with $58,968. However, nearly a third of Owen’s earnings have come from self-contributions. Owen donated $30,500 to his own campaign.

“We had a great 2019 and 2020 is going to be even better,” Learned said.

Oliver, Learned’s immediate competition in the Democratic primary, has raised just under $30,000

Both Learned and Oliver are using grassroots funding tactics. Learned’s average contribution is just $111 while Oliver’s is slightly higher at $135. Owen’s average contribution is $550 and Kushmer’s $466.

Those averages include loans and in-kind contributions.

House District 59 represents suburban eastern Hillsborough County. The district has trended Democratic since it was redistricted in 2010 and now has a slight Democratic voter registration advantage. Rep. Adam Hattersley flipped the seat blue in 2018.

Hattersley is not seeking reelection and instead running for Congress.

During the month of December Learned brought in three top-dollar contributions. The Florida Academy of Physicians Association and two of Learned’s family members each donated $1,000.

Learned also took in a $250 from lobbyist and Tampa Mayor Jane Castor’s partner Ana Cruz and $150 from Hillsborough County Commission candidate and former Tampa City Council member Harry Cohen.

Owen took in top dollar contributions from the Committee of Florida Agents, Tampa insurance executive Vincent Cassidy and Ark Video Productions in Brandon. He donated $750 to his own campaign.

Kushmer’s month was buoyed by maximum contributions from the farm industry including $1,000 contributions from the Florida Farm PAC, Florida Cow PAC and Astin Family Farms.

Oliver took in just four contributions in December, all of them for $100 or less.

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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