Lee Brand

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Lee Brand
25th Mayor of Fresno
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded byAshley Swearengin
Personal details
Born (1949-04-05) April 5, 1949 (age 70)
The Dalles, Oregon, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Trish Brand (m. 1980)
EducationFresno City College
California State University,
University of Southern California (MPA)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Air Force
Years of service1967–1973
UnitCalifornia Air National Guard

Lee R. Brand (born April 5, 1949)[1] is an American politician and businessman who is the 25th mayor of Fresno, California. He took office as the successor for Ashley Swearengin on January 3, 2017.[2]

Early life[edit]

Brand was born in The Dalles, Oregon, to a father of English descent and mother of Italian descent. Brand's mother was from Fresno, and his maternal grandfather immigrated to the U.S. from the Naples area.[1] The Brands moved to Fresno when Lee began kindergarten.[1]

Growing up in a poor household in which he shared a bed with his older brother, Brand began committing petty theft while in elementary school. While in junior high, Brand and some friends were arrested for breaking and entering in their school and served time in juvenile hall. "The ride home with his dad was in silence, but once through the door at home, Brand's father whacked him across the face," reported The Fresno Bee.[1] In 1964, when Brand was 15, his father died in a plane crash.[1]

At Theodore Roosevelt High School in Fresno, Brand competed on the cross country and track teams and ran a 1:59 half-miler in his junior year. After graduating in 1967, Brand briefly attended Fresno City College before enlisting in the California Air National Guard. After less than half a year in active duty as a technician, Brand returned to Fresno and engaged in a lifestyle he described as "sex, drugs, and rock and roll" before experiencing a "calling from God" in 1971. Brand began taking heavy course loads at Fresno City College and later California State University, Fresno (Fresno State) and graduated in 1973 from Fresno State summa cum laude.[1] Brand paid for his education by working at a local Sears and doing weekend patrol for the California Air National Guard.[1] He later received an honorable discharged from the Guard.[3]

Business career[edit]

Brand completed his M.P.A. at the University of Southern California in 1974 via a project instead of thesis.[1] From 1974 to 1978, Brand was an assistant mental health administrator for Madera County. On the side, Brand flipped houses and eventually opened a real estate business, Brand-Glenn & Associates, and car stereo store named The Sound Machine.[1] Brand's real estate business became Brand & Associates in 1981, and Brand co-founded Westco Equities in 1987.[1]

Political career[edit]

In 1996, Brand managed the successful campaign of Fresno City Council candidate Ken Steitz.[1]

After an unsuccessful campaign for the city council in 2000, Brand began serving on the Fresno Planning Commission as an appointee of mayor Alan Autry.[1]

Brand won election to the City Council in 2004 for the northeast Fresno seat previously held by Jerry Duncan.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Ellis, John (October 1, 2016). "Lee Brand rises from humble roots to thrive in business, seek mayor's office". Fresno Bee. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  2. ^ Ellis, John. "Brand, who rose from poverty to wealth, now looks to city's top job". Fresno Bee. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  3. ^ "Full Biography for Lee Brand". SmartVoter. March 3, 2000. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
Political offices
Preceded by
Ashley Swearengin
Mayor of Fresno