Activist state

Former Sheriff’s Official Records for East Hillsborough State House Siege

Danny Alvarez, a lawyer, former sheriff’s officer and longtime Republican political activist, has filed for State House in an eastern Hillsborough County district where he could face Democratic incumbent Andrew Learned.

Alvarez could also face a primary.

Tampa attorney Michael Minardi is already filed to run against Learned, and other top Republican candidates have been discussed.

But the plans of some potential candidates, including perhaps Minardi, are clouded by the uncertainty of the ongoing redistricting process.

Either way, as the place where Republicans have a chance of returning a blue seat, it’s likely to be a hard-fought, high-profile race.

Alvarez, 47, born in Miami to exiled Cuban parents, is a former Army paratrooper and a University of Florida graduate with law degrees from Stetson University and the University of Miami. He lives in Valrico and has four children.

Alvarez is expected to move to represent the Brandon and Southeast District of Hillsborough and said he is looking for property there.

He practices family law and is general counsel for the Tampa Police Benevolent Association. He previously worked for Sheriff Chad Chronister as director of communications and project manager.

Alvarez unsuccessfully ran for circuit judge in 2020.

He served as Tampa Bay Area Political Director for former Gov. Rick Scott’s 2014 re-election campaign and has volunteered on other GOP campaigns and with Young Republicans.

He said he was running to “defend individual liberty and liberty”.

“Florida was lucky that Ron DeSantis led the charge to defend individual rights” and keep Florida’s economy open, he said. “But there are active forces that have tried to stop this.”

The new district where Learned and Alvarez plan to run covers territory that voted for Donald Trump by 2 percentage points, according to political mapping expert Matthew Isbell.

But Learned, who narrowly won his 2020 seat in a mildly Republican district, expressed confidence.

“There will probably be other applicants, and we’ll see how it goes when the serious applicants come in,” he said.