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MLC Capitol Spotlight: An Interview with Representative Tommy Brann

Mar 23, 2017

Representative Tommy Brann (R-Wyoming) was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2016, representing the 77th House District.  His district is in Kent County and includes Byron Township and Wyoming.

Representative Brann has been working in the restaurant business since the age of seventeen.  At the age of nineteen, he opened his first restaurant.  Currently, he is the owner and operator of several restaurants throughout Michigan, including his first one, which has been opened for forty-five years.  In addition, he is an author and song writer.

He previously served as chairman of the Wyoming-Kentwood Chamber of Commerce, president of the Division Avenue Business Association, president of the Wyoming Economic Development Corporation, chairman of the Godwin Heights Advisory Commission, and an advisory board member at the Grand Rapids Community College’s Culinary Division.

1.    What attracted you to running for the Legislature?

I have been a restaurant owner for 45 years and believe in free enterprise and what it represents.  

2.    When did you first realize you wanted to be a Dem/GOP?

I realized I was a Republican at 19 years old when I opened my first restaurant, although, I have supported Democrats at times.   

a.    What attributes of your party do you most identify with?

 Free Enterprise ideals and Pro-Life  

3.    What individuals from your community have shaped and prepared you to be a legislator?

My dad, John Brann, and Fulton Sheen.

4.    What issues would you like to advocate for because of a personal life experience?

Free Enterprise, because of the risk I took 45 years ago in becoming a restaurateur. Homelessness, because of people like Misty, a woman who was homeless near my restaurant and barefooted in the winter.    

5.    Not having previously served as a public official, what are the greatest expectations you hope are achieved and what situations/scenarios do you hope to avoid?

To get a Free Enterprise course introduced into the school systems.   

6.    How has your previous career, political or private sector, shaped the legislator you will be?

My blue-collar restaurant dips into all sectors of life and its challenges.     

7.    What one thing would you like to highlight that makes your district special?

I would like to highlight all the hard-working people in my district who care about others.

8.    What are some of your favorite activities to participate in on your free time?

I enjoy lifting weights and spending time with my wife, Sue, and our dogs.

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