A Trashy Article About Representative Brett Harrell

Ok, it’s not what you think, but the title certainly grabbed your attention.  It’s actually a feature article from Waste & Recycling News about Representative Brett Harrell (R-Snellville) and his full-time career outside of the Georgia General Assembly.  Rep. Harrell works for Advanced Disposal Services, Inc. as their local governmental affairs liaison.  The article talks about how he got involved with politics in the first place:

“My whole life has been a series of fortunate accidents,” he said.

Harrell first got into politics in the 1990s after a local zoning board didn’t take his requests seriously because he lived in a neighboring city. Harrell moved, ran for City Council and, two years into his term, ran for mayor, unseating a long-serving politician.

“I did not run for reelection,” Harrell said about his one term as mayor of Snellville, Ga., a city of 18,000 residents and located 25 miles east of Atlanta. “I just wanted to fix a few things and got them fixed in four years.”

In 2009, a friend was retiring from the State House and asked Harrell to consider running, which he did, winning the Republican primary and cruising past his Democratic opponent. He ran unopposed this year.

“This is the first time I’ve ever had an uncontested race,” Harrell said. “It was certainly enjoyable.”

He hasn’t been a garbage man all of his life.  He’s actually fairly green to the industry (pun slightly intended):

While Harrell, 51, doesn’t hang on the back of a rear-loader for a living, he has been working for Advanced Disposal Services Inc. since 2009 as a local governmental affairs liaison for the greater Atlanta area.

“I’ve only been in the industry for three years,” he said. “I’m an absolute bottom-level sales guy. Nobody reports to me. I’m nobody’s superior.”

But after spending more than 20 years owning his own printing business, it’s something he said he enjoys. Harrell was offered an interview for the job after giving a reference for another person for a similar role at Advanced Disposal, he said.

A fine article about Representative Harrell that deserves a read.

NOTE: It looks like the article goes to a paywall after you’ve  viewed the article a couple of times.


  1. David C says:

    So this guy’s a state legislator who’s also a lobbyist? That’s not a conflict of interest in the slightest.

      • Ed says:

        His official bio says he’s a “trash man.”

        Maybe the real issue here is the utter bedlam related to what he actually does!

      • David C says:

        ? If you work in “governmental affairs” you’re a lobbyist. You can be ‘selling’ the company to local municipalities–that’s called lobbying. And I’m sure it doesn’t hurt if the one doing the ‘selling’ also works in the state legislature.

  2. xdog says:

    It’s not clear to me how “local governmental affairs liaison” = “sales guy” but that’s what he says.

  3. I ran a campaign in a primary with a candidate against Brett Harrell, and I have to agree WHOLEHEARTEDLY with this quote from the article:
    “My whole life has been a series of fortunate accidents,” he said.
    Yep! And congratulations (again) on whipping my butt. 🙂

    • Brett says:

      Mike, it was a fortunate accident that the opportunity to run for state House presented itself. It wasn’t an accident I won! And thanks again. 🙂

  4. Newtonian says:

    Thanks for posting. Brett (as well as his evil twin Brent) have been friends for a number of years. But as noted often here, no good comment goes unpunished. Merry Christmas.

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