Meet Barnstable's New State Rep. Brian Mannal

The newly sworn-in state legislator already has a long track record in politics.


New State Representative Brian Mannal, of the Second Barnstable District, is no stranger to the world of politics.

“As a child, I was interested in politics at a young age, and I daydreamed about running for office someday,” Mannal said, who was sworn in as state representative on Tuesday. “But the timing was never right before 2012.”

Mannal's interest led him to accumulate a wealth of experience over the years, working on both sides of the aisle, including a stint on the 2000 presidential campaign of George W. Bush. Yet it wasn't until last year that he took the plunge, and ran for elected office himself.

“I decided to run for State Representative because I believed that there was a need for new representation in Boston,” he said, “and I think that I possess the requisite education, experience and character to represent our community effectively on Beacon Hill.”

That decision came in spite of what promised to be – and proved to be – a tough primary battle with the then incumbent State Representative Demetrius Atsalis, who was seeking his eighth term in office. Mannal went into the Democratic primary with his eyes open, knowing that the election effectively decided the race, since the winner would face no Republican challenger in the general election.

“Running for office can be a daunting process, and I was blessed to have the support of family and friends,” Mannal said. “I knew going into it that it would be tough at times, and I tried to stay positive and focus on the issues. Of course, politics is not a profession for the thin-skinned.”

Mannal says his work in politics over the years has lent him a fuller perspective on the issues, though his training in the analytical rigors of the law may prove to be even more important.

“I'd like to think that my past political experiences help me better understand both sides of current political issues, but I suspect that my training and experience as a trial attorney will be far more valuable to my role as a legislator,” said Mannal, who has practiced law in Barnstable for the past few years.

Mannal says his much-discussed 2004 switch from Republican to Democrat, and his political thinking in general, were influenced by much more than his work in the political arena.

“My political outlook has been shaped by my entire life experience,” he said, “from growing up in Barnstable and being raised by my parents, Dr. Richard Mannal and Karen Mannal, to my academic experiences in studying abroad in college, to my professional experiences in the fields of workforce development and economic development, as well as my experience as an attorney – every aspect of my life has played some role in shaping my worldview and perspective.”

A major part of that perspective is Mannal's emphasis on education.

“My parents have said that the greatest gift they were able to provide their children with was the gift of a quality education,” he said. “I couldn't agree more. I have served as a member of the Centerville Elementary School council for several years, and believe that the experience strengthened my belief that education is the cornerstone of our economy.”

As he begins his term, Mannal is quick to assure residents of the Second District, Republican and Democrat alike, that their interests have a voice in the State House.

“My door is open to all constituents of the district regardless of party affiliation,” he said. “I was elected to represent Barnstable and Yarmouth, and I will work hard to do that.”

– Regional Editor's note: State Rep. Brian Mannal is married to Barnstable-Hyannis Patch Local Editor Sara Mannal. This assignment was made and edited by Patch regional editor Margaret Carroll-Bergman. 

Taryn Thoman February 27, 2013 at 02:24 PM
You have no problem launching personal attacks because your cowardice won't allow it. Anonymous comments like yours lack credibility for obvious reasons. Which would you rather be - a convicted murderer or a convicted sex offender? Most people would rather fight a murder conviction. Our justice system isn't perfect. The guilty are acquitted and the innocent are convicted sometimes. Even hungry lawyers don't want to appeal sex crime convictions. Ask a probate judge how many mothers claim fathers sexually abused their children for leverage in custody disputes and you might be surprised at the answer. It's not easy to recognize for someone like you, but what Mr. Mannal is doing is actually quite brave.
Taryn Thoman February 27, 2013 at 04:07 PM
Children of Barnstable aren't safe from much of anything. Try reporting anything to any local or state agency about neglect or abuse of children and see what happens. Chances are you'll get hauled into court for harassment. If you think you're anonymous think again - you are not. We have a minority of innocent people on death row. In your opinion we should let them fry because they're are only a few of them? I don't know any true conservatives, just a bunch of loud angry white people screaming about what a raw deal they think they're getting by losing a tax loophole after years of profiting from less fortunate taxpayers. The word conservative implies a certain propriety to which most of today's self proclaimed conservatives do not conform. I'm not a fan of convicted sex offenders, but I am a fan of Brian, and I would like to hear what he has to say on this issue. Keep in mind that unlike you and yours, Mannal is not a one note Johnny. He's only been in office a few months and already has other irons in the fire. If you don't like the word brave, try "ironic", since voters elected the polar opposite of his predecessor, who wanted to create a registry for convicted pot dealers! I doubt this bill will pass, so don't destroy your shift button screaming about it...
Me February 27, 2013 at 05:56 PM
Wow! "I don't know any true conservatives, just a bunch of loud angry white people screaming about what a raw deal they think they're getting by losing a tax loophole after years of profiting from less fortunate taxpayers." Where did race become an issue? I would welcome Mr. Mannal's comments on the subject at hand.
Taryn Thoman February 28, 2013 at 02:12 PM
Think about the gospel, and consider sex offenders the least among us. If you can't do that, just try to think more and stick to the facts. I can have an intelligent conversation about issues without waving the flag and throwing God around the room. Look at your blind attacks, mannar and choice of language. It's all reactive and condescending. I considered the demographics of self identified conservatives, your manner of expression and came up with the fact that you are angry and white. It wasn't a stretch. Massachusetts is considered a "liberal" state. Proposed bills don't get any more liberal than this one! It's outrageous on its face but less so when you look at the details. Using good grammar indicates a certain pride of a reasonably educated author. There is irony in the fact that you attack my honesty and intelligence but can't manage a contraction. All the talk on women's rights issues last year came from self identified conservatives who blew the election by scaring off most female voters. Google "the stupid party" and ask yourself, if you're so intelligent, why you're a card carrying member.
Taryn Thoman March 13, 2013 at 12:13 PM
Dr. Mannal is not a public official, so your lies about him here are inappropriate. What impressed me most about Brian Mannal is how he conducted himself and his campaign. He addressed the Issues, and didnt roll around in the mud launching all manner of personal attacks. Atsalis is a bully and a sure loser. Remarkably voters were prepared to re-elect him anyway until he was found to have messed up his filings again for the umpteenth time. I am confident that Brian Mannal will hold his office for as long as he wants it, and we are lucky to have him.


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