By BROOKE WANSER
Brandon Ogles moved to the Grassland community from Cheatham County with his family when he was in second grade.
His first interest in politics began through his relationship with his baseball coach, Clint Callicott, who is also the former Williamson County executive and District 61 representative.
“Back then, the politics kind of revolved around the football and baseball fields,” Ogles said.
“Politicians were not some guys who worked in offices and wore fancy suits,” he said, referencing current Rep. Charles Sargent and county Mayor Rogers Anderson. “They were our baseball coaches, and raking up stuff and bringing their farm equipment to come work on the fields.”
After attending Grassland Middle and Elementary, then Franklin High School, where he was student body president, Ogles graduated from Lipscomb University with a degree in business administration.
He began working as a consultant, before deciding to work as a carpenter.
“It was funny because I went from doing suit and tie job to carpentry,” he said.
Ogles worked his way up in the company, before branching out as a subcontractor. During that time, he focused on cabinetry, building inside many local schools including Franklin Elementary and Poplar Grove, as well as the Williamson County Library.
In 2006, Ogles and his brother-in-law founded Branch Building Group, a contracting company now in 35 states.
In Williamson County, the company specializes in restaurants, recently building 55 South in Brentwood, Biscuit Love in Franklin, and the Salty Goat and Martin’s BBQ in Spring Hill.
As a small business owner, Ogles advocates for managing growth, and allowing only for growth that pays for itself.
“We put tax increases on the ballot, but we don’t address the true problem,” he said. “I don’t care if you’ve been here a month or 40 years, I don’t think your taxes should increase to fund new development.”
As the father of four children, Ogles said school security is his number one priority.
“We’re blessed in Williamson County to have security officers in all our schools, but it baffles me as a parent to see that other schools don’t have the funding ability and resources in place to put safety officers in their schools,” he said. “Children are the most precious treasure that we have.”
Ogles wants to work on placing trained security professionals in each school district, and does not support any effort to allow teachers to carry weapons for safety.
“I think guns need to be put in the hands of professionals that train to use them on a very regular basis,” he said. “The SRO model is the only model I think that makes sense.”
Ogles said funding schools is a priority that goes hand in hand with managing growth, and supports local legislative efforts to reform the basic education plan (BEP).
“If Williamson County is going to be in a position where we’re not going to get any more money from the state, we’ve got to look at stabilizing some of our growth,” he said.
If elected, Ogles said his background in finance during college and with his business have prepared him to understand the nuance of the state budget. He hopes to work diligently to champion its causes that Sargent worked on.
Ogles said what sets him apart from the rest of the field is his desire to represent the families and kindness exhibited in the Williamson County he grew up in.
“We’ve been taught for decades in this community how to lose well and how to disagree with respect,” he said.
“People are always talking about building walls, but I think in Williamson County we need to build more bridges, as far as bridging the groups between old and new, and the business community and residents that are struggling to be here.”
Occupation: Co-founder and operator of Branch Building Group
Education: Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Lipscomb University
Family: Wife, Grace, four children: Ethan, 9; Aidan, 7; Insley, 6; Emma, 4.
Community involvement: Grassland Heights Baptist Church member for 30 years, former vice president of the Grassland Athletic Association, active Eagle Scout with Troop 130, board member for Homework Hotline.
Address: 296 Spencer Creek Road, Franklin
Visit his website here.