Always a prolific lawmaker, the 40-year-old libertarian-leaning legislator introduced 41 separate bills going into the 2016 Session. They included proposals for statewide regulation of ridesharing companies, for banning red-light camera programs, to stop the practice of suspending driver’s licenses, and to reform civil asset forfeiture laws so they require a conviction before a property seizure is final.
He also lucked out when the new Senate map accepted by the court left his Senate District 22 seat relatively intact, avoiding what could have been a scenario like Congressional District 13 with his seat becoming more Democratic-leaning.
Pinellas County political strategist Barry Edwards describes Brandes as a “futurist who is always thinking three-dimensionally.”
Brandes dropped four places from his 2015 showing, going from fourth to eighth.
For a complete explanation of how this list was created and who comprised the panel that assembled it, please read here.