Freshman Profile – Darrel Branhagen

Branhagen headshotRepresentative-elect Darrel Branhagen, of Decorah, was elected to serve House District 55 this past election.  The district consists of parts of Clayton, Fayette and Winneshiek Counties.  Decorah, Elkader, and West Union make up the major population centers in the district.

Darrel grew up in Decorah where he graduated from Decorah High School, and then earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin.  He also earned his law degree from Drake University in Des Moines.

After graduation, Darrel joined the Army and served in Panama, Bosnia, and Afghanistan.  In Afghanistan, he was Chief Coalition Military Advisor to the Afghanistan government.  He was awarded the Bronze Star and Combat Badge.  He served in the Army for 30 years, retiring as a Colonel.

While stateside, Darrel was employed as Chief Attorney and General Counsel of International Technological Corporations in Texas.  After living abroad and in Texas, he chose to return to his home of Decorah.

Darrel has served as the Winneshiek County Attorney and on the Decorah City Council.  He was also a Luther College Assistant Professor of Business and Economics, and Commander of the local US Army Engineering Company.

Darrel lives on a farm south of Decorah with his wife, Betty.  They attend Washington Prairie Lutheran Church in Decorah.