ANDREW LEARNED

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Veteran

Andrew is a veteran of 8-years and three Middle East deployments. He served as an officer in the US Navy for four years on active duty and remains an officer in the US Navy Reserve with Special Operation Command Central's reserve unit at MacDill AFB. He's led teams on boarding missions combating Somali Piracy and led planning efforts with the 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade during the crisis in Yemen and Syria.

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Local Businessman

Andrew owns the Valrico GradePower Learning center where his team helps kids reach higher in school. Andrew's Valrico location received the President's Award in his franchise for being the #1 location in the US in 2016.

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Local Candidate

Andrew grew up largely in the district and studied economics and political science at the University of Tampa. Today, he lives and works in Valrico, a small suburb of Tampa near Brandon. You may see him around at a Publix eating a chicken tender sub, riding his bike, or running along Nature's Way (all as he would tell you to make more chicken tender subs and strawberry shortcakes possible)...

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Andrew was born in Sarasota, grew up in Valrico, and graduated from Fort Myers High School before enrolling at the University of Tampa. There, he studied economics and government and world affairs in addition to his duties in the Navy ROTC program.

 

While at UT, Andrew took an internship opportunity with County Commissioner Marke Sharpe, then County Commissioner for Hillsborough County District-7 where he learned the ins-and-outs of local government.

 

During his junior year, Andrew was elected as the Student Body President for the university. During his tenure, Student Government received the Organization of the Year Award for their achievements by the Board of Trustees.

After graduation, Andrew commissioned as an officer into the United States Navy, serving on active duty for 4-years. He was a Surface Warfare Officer who specialized as his ship’s Boarding Officer. In that role, Andrew led small teams on boarding operations throughout two deployments to the Middle East and North Africa. In 2014, as a Lieutenant, Andrew transitioned to the United States Navy Reserves.

 

When Andrew returned home, he decided to start his own small business, a neighborhood learning center called GradePower Learning. His location was the #1 new franchise in the 140-center-strong Oxford Learning family and won the Presidents Award the following year for being #1 overall. Andrew has also been personally recognized by the Tampa Bay Business Journal in 2014 as an Up & Comer Under 30.

 

In 2016 Andrew was activated for a year as the Lead Surface Planner for Commander Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade forward deployed to Bahrain. During this deployment Andrew led surface coordination efforts during the crisis in the Bab-Al-Mandeb, when Huthi rebels were firing missiles at US and Coalition warships in the strategic choke-point. Andrew 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, Andrew received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.

Andrew at Work

Andrew has experienced the daily impacts of the decisions made in Washington: He has led boarding teams against Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden and worked in support of operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. This has made Andrew acutely aware of how dysfunction in Washington can trickle down and affect real operations with real life and death consequences on the ground. Andrew has a fresh perspective on our continuing fight against terrorists and the governments that enable them.

 

Andrew experiences the daily impacts of the decisions made in Washington: The process of growing his own business showed Andrew the same challenges his parents faced as he grew up. To face those challenges, Andrew knows we need to restore a strong working-class by creating the jobs of tomorrow here at home. Jobs that can support a family and the healthy consumer spending vital to building vibrant local communities.