A member of Carlow Town Council from the 1999 local elections until the abolition in 2003 of the dual mandate, Browne was elected as Mayor of Carlow town in July 2002. At the 2007 general election he stood in the Carlow–Kilkenny constituency, but did not win a seat. After his defeat, he stood for the 23rd Seanad on the Cultural and Educational Panel, but was unsuccessful. He was elected to Carlow County Council in 2009 for the Carlow East local electoral area. He was re-elected to Carlow County Council in May 2014 and was elected as chairman (Cathaoirleach) for 2014–15.
His father John Browne is a former senator and TD for Carlow–Kilkenny.