Elections in his blood: Brandon Varin is Franklin County’s new Democratic commissioner
MALONE — Franklin County’s new Democratic election commissioner, Brandon John Varin, has elections in his blood, commissioners in his family and lots of election law on his hands.
Varin, who started March 1, has been participating in elections since he was a teen, going door-to-door to collect petition signatures for his father, former county Treasurer Bryon Varin. Bryon was the treasurer between 1987 and 2017.
Also, his mother-in-law, Kathy Fleury, was the Democratic commissioner in Franklin County before Kelly Cox took the position in 2012.
Cox retired in mid-February and moved to Tennessee. Varin said that with his party’s seat open, he could not turn it down.
He will serve the remainder of Cox’s appointment, and in around a year his seat will be up again. The commissioner position is decided on by the county Democratic committee.
Varin said he has wanted to get into a political career for a while now, but it was always kept on the back burner while he worked in the sheriff’s department as a corrections sergeant. He discussed the career change with his wife and decided to express to Democratic Party leaders his interest in the position.
“It’s very different,” Varin said. “It’s good different. It’s a totally different career than what I’ve had for the last 15 years.
“I look forward to working for the voters of Franklin County.”
He also said he has enjoyed working with Republican Election Commissioner Tracy Sparks, saying that a nonpartisan and easy work environment will keep elections running smoothly.
Now Varin is brushing up on election law, reading a thick pink book of the rules and regulations that sits on his desk. He has come into the position during a year of change. The state passed new election laws this January, introducing things like early voting, primary election consolidation and changes to absentee ballot rules.
The department also has new voting machines being delivered this week.
Varin said he has always voted because of how close he has been to elections, and he hopes to instill that desire to vote in others in Franklin County.