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A tale of two Andrews: Andrew Warren endorses Andrew Learned

With no incumbent, Democrats are hoping to hold on to House District 59.

Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren is endorsing Andrew Learned for Florida House District 59.

The Democrat’s endorsement comes as little surprise considering Learned is the only Democrat in the race.

Learned is running to replace Rep. Adam Hattersley who is not seeking reelection to run instead for Congress.

“I am proud to offer my endorsement of Andrew Learned in the Florida House, District 59 race.  Andrew is a proven leader and advocate for issues Floridians care about,” Warren said. “He has the vision to improve education, increase accessible housing, and expand affordable healthcare — all of which shrink the footprint of criminal justice and make our communities safer and stronger.  I know we can count on Andrew to be a problem-solver in Tallahassee and represent the people of district 59 with honor and integrity.”

Learned previously faced Mark Oliver in the Democratic primary, but now does not face a primary challenger after Oliver switched races to run in House District 70.

Learned will face one of two Republicans in November — Danny Kushmer or Michael Owen.

The race is an important one for Democrats. Hattersley flipped the seat blue in 2018, replacing former Rep. Ross Spano who he now is hoping to unseat in Congress. That leaves an opening for Republicans to reclaim the seat with no incumbent running.

“I have the utmost respect for the many reforms that State Attorney Warren is implementing to better serve the residents of Hillsborough County.  I am proud to receive this endorsement and humbled by the faith he has placed in me to represent the citizens of district 59,” Learned said.

Learned brings to the race strong name recognition if not incumbency. He ran for Congress in 2018, losing the Democratic primary to Kristen Carlson who went on to lose in the general to Spano.

Learned had been running again for Congress, but swapped races with Hattersley to instead seek the House District 59 seat.

Learned is from the Brandon area, which the district represents. He’s served eight years in the U.S. Navy and served three deployments in the Middle East. Learned currently serves as an officer in the Navy Reserve.

He’s also a small business owner, owning and operating Grade Power Learning Center, a tutoring center in Valrico. That school employs 12 teachers and aims to empower students to reach their highest potential.

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 Patch.com 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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