Learned Qualifies for Ballot in U.S. House Race
Andrew Learned is running for the District 15 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Learned plans to open his first campaign office Sunday in Brandon.
VALRICO – Andrew Learned is the first candidate in the race for U.S. House District 15 to qualify for the ballot.
“I got into this race nearly a year ago and I am proud of the grassroots movement that we have built which has already succeeded in reshaping the halls of Congress for my neighbors here along I-4,” Learned said. “I’m excited and ready for the fight ahead against whoever the good ol’ boy network offers up against us.”
Learned will open his first campaign office Sunday (April 22). The opening celebration is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the office, 1208 Bell Shoals Road, Brandon. The opening will include a rally and barbecue. The event is open to the public.
Learned said he raised more than $120,000 in campaign funds during the first quarter of this year. That’s almost double what he raised by the end of 2017. The Learned campaign said, to date, it has received more individual donations, and from more individual donors, than any other Democrat or Republican who has run for the seat in at least the last decade.
Learned was born in Sarasota, grew up in Valrico, and was graduated from Fort Myers High School before enrolling at the University of Tampa where he studied economics and government and world affairs in addition to his duties in the Navy ROTC program.
After graduation, Learned was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy, serving on active duty for four years. Learned led small teams on boarding operations throughout two deployments to the Middle East and North Africa. In 2014, as a lieutenant, he transitioned into the Naval Reserves.
In 2016, he was activated for a year and deployed to Bahrain. During this deployment, Learned led surface coordination efforts during the crisis in the Bab-Al-Mandeb, when Huthi rebels were firing missiles at U.S. and Coalition warships. Learned worked to ensure dozens of daily transits of merchant shipping were protected, defended, and that freedom of navigation was ensured for all friendly and neutral forces. For his efforts, Learned received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.
If Learned is elected, he would be the only member of the greater Tampa Bay Congressional delegation who is a veteran.
He is owner of a neighborhood learning center called GradePower Learning.
CD 15 includes portions of Hillsborough, Polk and Lake counties. Since the district was redrawn in 2012, the demographics have shifted the balance, with the majority of voters now coming from Hillsborough County. The race is considered by Decision Desk HQ to be the 23rd most flippable Congressional House seat.
The seat is currently held by Republican Dennis Ross, who announced last week he will not run for reelection.
This far, nine candidates have announced campaigns for the seat. They are Democrats Learned, who has qualified; Cameron Magnuson; Raymond Pena Jr.; James Gregory Pilkington; Jeffrey Rabinowitz; and Greg Williams. Republicans who are announced candidates: Loretta “Leah Lax” Miller and Curtis Ralph Rogers. Republican Danny Kushmer announced Monday (April 16) that he will run for the seat.
The primary is Aug. 28. The general election is Nov. 6.
For information about Learned, go to andrewlearned.com.
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