Brandon native Andrew Learned, a U.S. Navy veteran of 11 years and a local small business owner, wants to serve his community as a representative in the Florida House.

Andrew Learned, a U.S. Navy veteran of 11 years and a local small business owner, has dedicated his life to serving his country. Now, he wants to serve his community as a representative in the Florida House.

Learned grew up in Brandon and, after graduating from the University of Tampa with degrees in economics and in government and world affairs, he commissioned as an officer into the United States Navy.

Over the course of three Middle East deployments, he led boarding missions against Somali pirates and planned missions against ISIS in Iraq, Yemen and Syria. In 2013, Learned transferred to the Navy Reserves, where he currently serves as a lieutenant commander, at Special Operations Command Central on MacDill Air Force Base.

Learned has built a life in Brandon as the owner of GradePower Learning, a tutoring company that helps students catch up, get ahead and prepare for their SATs. He said his experience working with teachers and students in the community has shown him where our current school system is lacking.

“For 30 years the Republican-led legislature has been chipping away at our public schools, and it’s time for a check on the side of our students, teachers and communities so we can get all of our kids access to the education they deserve.”

On the economy, Learned said he has seen firsthand the negative impacts COVID-19 has had on local businesses when he was forced to restructure his company to go entirely online in the wake of shutdowns in March.

“The governor can order my business closed in one day, but he can’t sign an order to bring my customers back four weeks later.” Learned said. “Parents won’t feel safe sending their kids to in-person tutoring until we get this virus under control. We need a science-based response and transparency with the community.”

Learned also serves locally on the advisory board for YMCA Camp Cristina, where he was the 2019 Volunteer of the Year and is an avid cyclist and triathlete. He is getting married later this year and will be taking on 8-year-old twins along with his new life.

To learn more about Learned, visit andrewlearned.com.