Jeff Brandes is a state senator from Florida.
PUF caught up with state legislators from Florida, South Carolina, Utah and Washington State at the State Legislators' Smart Communities Summit.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: Senator, tell me what your job is in the Florida legislature and how you got there?
Senator Brandes: I served in the Florida House from 2010 to 2012. I've been elected to serve in the Florida Senate since 2012.
I was an officer in the U.S. Army Reserves for eleven years before I joined the Legislature. I thought I was going to come back after I left the military and work for my family business, but they promptly sold it.
I was in Iraq from 2003 through 2004 with 101st Airborne Division. During that time, I read Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman. From that book, I gained my interest in public policy and realized my views aligned more with libertarianism, so I have tried to infuse some of that libertarian thought into the Florida Legislature and enjoy the perspective of generally wanting less government.