Race for House District 59 seat tightens with majority of precincts reporting

Andrew Learned is facing off against a 44-year-old attorney, Micheal Owen.
Democrat Andrew Learned and Republican Michael Owen vie for the Florida House District 59 seat in 2020.
Democrat Andrew Learned and Republican Michael Owen vie for the Florida House District 59 seat in 2020. [ Courtesy of the candidates ]
Published Nov. 4, 2020|Updated Nov. 4, 2020

With the majority of Hillsborough precincts reporting, Democrat Andrew Learned has a very slight lead in the race for Florida House District 59 to replace Rep. Adam Hattersly, D-Riverview, who opted instead to run for Florida’s 15th Congressional District, losing in the August primary to Alan Cohn.

Andrew Learned, 34, a veteran U.S. Navy officer and owner of Grade Power Learning Center in Valrico, has about 50 percent of vote with 45 of the 47 district precincts reporting. His opponent, Micheal Owen, a 44-year-old attorney, has about 49 percent of the vote as of 8 p.m.

In 2018, Learned ran for Congress in Florida’s 15th District. This summer, he was unopposed in the Democratic primary. Learned supports the legalization of marijuana, a ban on offshore drilling and the restoration of voting rights for those formerly incarcerated.

Owen won the Republican primary with just over 50 percent of the vote in Hillsborough County after facing off against business consultant and real estate agent Danny Kushmer. Throughout the campaign, Owen, a small business owner, has called for local infrastructure improvement and the expansion of opportunities to get occupational licenses.

In campaign contributions, Learned nearly $369,000, while Owen racked up over $461,000.

Learned was endorsed by Rep. Hattersley and Andrew Warren, state attorney for the 13th Judicial District. Since the primary, Owen has gained endorsements from Greater Tampa Bay Realtors and La Gaceta Newspaper.

State representatives can serve up to four two-year terms, earning $29,697 per year. House District 59 covers the southern end of Hillsborough county, including Riverview, Brandon, Valrico and Palm River.

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