Governmental Affairs

The Department of Public Safety has three legislative liaisons:  Lara Cole, Brad Salmon and Andy Brandon.

Lara Cole serves as the governmental affairs director.  She began her duties April 10. Prior to this appointment, Cole served as a partner and head of external affairs with Pine Street Strategies, a government relations firm working with corporate clients and members of the U.S. Congress. A seasoned legislative counsel and government affairs expert, Cole’s background includes serving as the state and external affairs director for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, public policy counsel for Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under Law, as well as legislative assistant/counsel for the Offices of Congressman G.K. Butterfield and Congressman Keith Ellison.

A member of the Federal Communications Bar Association, Cole also served on the board of the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra and National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC).

Cole holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Spellman College, Atlanta, GA and a Juris Doctor from the University of St. Thomas School of Law, Minneapolis, MN.

Lara Cole

Brad Salmon serves as legislative liaison. A former state representative, Salmon worked in District 51 which covers portions of Lee and Harnett counties. During his tenure in the General Assembly, he served on several committees including Appropriations, Justice and Public Safety Appropriations, Agriculture and Judiciary II. As partner and founder with the Salmon Law Firm, he oversaw a pro bono legal clinic in conjunction with Duke University School of Law. A farmer and small business owner, Salmon has managed the operations of a 600 acre farm, ensuring effective budgeting, long-range planning and regulatory compliance.

Salmon serves on the board of Central Carolina Community College Foundation, Harnett Police Athletic League, Leadership Harnett and Dr. Henderson D. Mabe Jr. Scholarship Endowment Fund. A graduate of Leadership North Carolina class XIX, Salmon was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 2016.

A resident of Mamers, Salmon holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from North Carolina State University and a Juris Doctor degree from Campbell University- Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law. He was also awarded a basic economic development certificate from the School of Government, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Brad Salmon
Legislative Liaison

Andy Brandon is a legislative liaison.  Brandon worked more than 26 years with Community Corrections, starting in 1987 as a parole officer for Burke and Cleveland counties.  He was a chief probation and parole officer for Burke and Catawba counties before accepting the position of legislative affairs program manager in 2014.  

Brandon graduated from Avery High School in 1982, and received a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Appalachian State University.  He  served on the Burke County Board of Education for eight years, four as vice-chair.  Brandon was chairman of the DPS Insurance Committee from 2013 to 2015 and remains an active member.

Thomas "Andy" Brandon
Legislative Liaison
Issues related to Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice

2017 Legislative Updates

2016 Legislative Wrap-Up

2015 Legislative Wrap-Up

2014 Legislative Wrap-Up

Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Justice and Public Safety

Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Justice & Public Safety