Brandon Russell is a native of St. Mary’s County, Maryland. He graduated from Chopticon High School, earned two Associate’s Degrees in English and General Studies from the College of Southern Maryland, and earned his Bachelor's Degree in English from the University of Maryland University College.
Brandon’s interest in politics became more locally focused in 2018. He was frequently featured in the Editorials section of local newspapers where he drew attention to important decisions being made by our officials. In 2019, after the St. Mary’s County Public Library budget was penalized because of their public meeting room policy, Brandon met with local officials to help facilitate a solution. Brandon also engaged members of the public to encourage the County Commissioners to return the funding, an effort that was successful.
The same year, Brandon began working with the St. Mary’s County Human Relations Commission, where he suggested changes to the group’s by-laws to bring them in line with state and federal regulations on protected classes. Brandon’s suggestion manifested as House Bill 516, which was heard in the Maryland General Assembly’s 2022 Legislative Session.
In 2020, Brandon was appointed to the St. Mary’s County Democratic Central Committee where he took over communications for the party. Brandon helped plan the March for Equality held on June 3, 2020 in Leonardtown, MD, an event that saw over 1500 people stand together in solidarity for equal rights in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. In July 2020, Brandon was involved in creating and hosting a series of panels called “Shut Up and Listen: It’s My Turn to Speak” which focused on the stories of people of color and LGBTQ+ who live in St. Mary’s County. In October 2020, Brandon helped organize the Women’s March in Leonardtown, where several hundred people gathered to support women’s rights.
Brandon continued being involved in the community in 2021, when he joined the Planning Committee for Pride SOMD, a role he continues to hold. He also stood with educators, police, and first responders during the 2021 budget cycle to advocate for pay parity before the County Commissioners. Brandon was voted in as the Second Vice Chair of the St. Mary’s County Democratic Central Committee in 2021 as well. He also joined the Rural County Committee and the LGBTQ+ Diversity Leadership Council for the Maryland Democratic Party.
In the later half of 2021, Brandon completed the St. Mary’s County Citizen’s Academy to learn more about local government. He also led efforts calling for a fair & balanced local redistricting process and championed community involvement in that process. Along with testifying at all local redistricting public forums, Brandon provided testimony to the Maryland legislature regarding the state redistricting process.
In 2022, Brandon ran for St. Mary’s County Commissioner with a platform designed to HELP St. Mary’s County and lead it into the future. Although Brandon’s campaign was unsuccessful, his plan focusing on Healthcare, Education, Land Use, and Public Safety was well-received and generated excitement among residents looking for a change. Brandon has a passion for land use and development, and frequently advocates for proper development that discourages an overabundance of chain stores while protecting local small businesses. During the campaign, Brandon assisted with organizing the Bans Off Our Bodies Rally and Rally For Our Rights in Leonardtown. These rally’s were a response to the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision on women’s healthcare. Brandon organized a well-attended information session at Linda’s Cafe where he educated residents about a proposed development that would erase Tulagi Place and the small businesses located there. Throughout his campaign, Brandon focused on voter education and making government more accessible and understandable.
Brandon has recently been appointed as an At-Large Member of the Policy Committee for the incoming team of Governor Wes More and Lt. Governor Aruna Miller.