Andrew Learned leads fundraising; Michael Owen and Danny Kushmer spend big before primaries for HD 59

Andrew Learned

Democrat Andrew Learned is still dominating the fundraising race for Florida House District 59 — the unopposed candidate out-raised Republican challengers Michael Owen and Danny Kushmer in the most recent finance period, even as the Aug. 18 Primary Election nears. 

Learned is running in the primaries unopposed, leading to lax spending in the last few finance periods as the candidate saves up for the eventual race against the winner of the Republican primaries. 

Learned raised $6,265 in the most recent period, which spans from July 25 through July 31. He only spent $369 that week on digital services.

Owen and Kushmer, however, are amping up for the primary election.

Owen, the leading Republican fundraiser, raised $3,400 in the most recent period. Owen spent $32,447 in that same period — $23,880 on advertising, and about $8,500 on consulting and research.

Kushmer, Owen’s primary opponent, raised $1,820 this period, and spent $10,059 — his second biggest spending week.

The candidates both had their largest spending period in the week prior to the most recent report, from July 18 through July 24. In that week, Kushmer spent $12,276 and Owen spent $58,070. 

Since the start of their campaigns, Kushmer has raised $75,621, and Owen has raised $109,713 in contributions. Although Owen has had higher fundraising numbers, he also has taken out an additional $73,400 in loans, including $1,000 in the most recent week reported. Kushmer has yet to take out a loan. 

The winner of the Republican primary will face Learned, who is running unopposed in the August primary. This gives Learned an advantage, as he did not have to spend to campaign against a primary opponent and instead could save for the general election.

Kushmer ended the period in a better position than Owen funding-wise — Owen left the last period with $28,695 cash on hand, including loans, while Kushmer concluded with about $35,810 cash on hand. Learned will go into the next period with about $81,880 cash on hand. 

This House race is important for Democrats after Rep. Adam Hattersley flipped the seat blue in 2018. The seat opened up after Hattersley decided to run for Florida’s 15th Congressional District. 

Hattersley swapped races with Learned, who left the Congressional race for the HD 59 race. 

In 2018, Hattersley replaced former Rep. Ross Spano. Democrats are hoping to keep the seat blue despite an aggressive push from the GOP to reclaim it. 

The HD 59 seat covers a southern part of Hillsborough County.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected]


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