|Member of the Florida Senate
from the 24th district
November 6, 2012
|Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 52nd district
November 2, 2010 – November 6, 2012
|Preceded by||Bill Heller|
February 12, 1976 |
St. Petersburg, Florida
|Alma mater||Marion Military Institute (A.A.) Carson-Newman College (B.S.)|
|Service/branch||United States Army Reserve|
|Years of service||1996-2007|
|Unit||United States Army|
Brandes served in the United States Army Reserve as a transportation officer from 1996 to 2007 following his graduation from the Marion Military Institute in Marion, Alabama in 1996 and while he attended Carson-Newman College, from which he graduated in 1999 with a degree in business administration. From 2003 to 2004, Brandes served in the Iraq War, for which he earned a Combat Action Badge.
In 2010, Brandes ran for the Florida House of Representatives from the 52nd District, which was based in Pinellas County, challenging incumbent Democratic State Representative Bill Heller. In a good year for Republicans nationwide and statewide, Brandes narrowly defeated Heller, winning over him with 51% of the vote.
Following the reconfiguration of Florida Senate districts in 2012, Brandes opted to run in the 22nd District, which encompassed southern Pinellas County and South Tampa, rather than seek a second term in the House. In the Republican primary, he faced fellow state representative James Frishe. Brandes was endorsed by former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush, and defeated Frishe with 56% of the vote. He was unopposed in the general election.
While serving in the Senate, Brandes, an opponent of red-light cameras, attached a provision onto highway safety legislation that would "require the cities and counties [that have cameras] to create an administrative appeals process for motorists who contest the initial red-light camera violations." Additionally, he sponsored legislation that was signed into law by Governor Rick Scott dealing with the "pension plans that cover public safety workers"; the legislation was strongly opposed by police and firefighter unions, who warned that it would "cause a spike in pension costs."
Brandes' district was reconfigured and renumbered after court-ordered redistricting in 2016. It now includes only parts of southern Pinellas County.
- Smith, Adam C. (August 1, 2012). "Jeb Bush appears in new Jeff Brandes ad for Fla Sen". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
- Dunkelberger, Lloyd (June 13, 2013). "Scott approves changes to red-light camera rules". Daytona Beach News-Journal. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
- Bousquet, Steve (May 31, 2013). "Gov. Scott signs pension bill opposed by police and fire unions". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
- "Americans for Prosperity Florida Economic Freedom Scorecard 2016 Legislative Session" (PDF). Americans for Prosperity.