Anderson running as alternativeST. PAUL – Bob Anderson said voters in the 6th Congressional District will like his conservative positions and his commitment to their interests.
By: Scott Wente, Forum Communications Co.
ST. PAUL – Bob Anderson said voters in the 6th Congressional District will like his conservative positions and his commitment to their interests.
Anderson is running for Congress without major funding or even the backing of the Independence Party under which he is campaigning. But the dental technician and Woodbury resident said his conservative political views fit the district.
Anderson said he agrees with freshman Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann on most issues, but says she ignores constituents in the pursuit of attention for herself. She has increasingly appeared on national television talk shows, but not enough at home.
“She’s been an absentee representative,” Anderson said, bemoaning Bachmann’s lack of public meetings in the district. “I am connected; she is not connected.”
However, Anderson is not well connected with his party. He lost the Independence Party endorsement earlier this year to Democrat Elwyn Tinklenberg. Only a conservative can win in the district that includes eastern, northern and western Twin Cities suburbs and stretches northwest to St. Cloud, Anderson said.
The Independence Party is not helping Anderson’s campaign, IP Chairman Craig Swaggert said.
“He hijacked our ballot line and does not represent the Independence Party,” Swaggert said.
A first-time candidate, Anderson said his interest in politics was sparked by years of congressional wrangling over whether people with mental illness should receive the same level of benefits given people with physical problems, when insurance policies cover both types of illness.
He said he once suffered severe depression and believes mental health should be treated equally. Congress recently voted to require mental health parity, and Anderson has challenged Bachmann’s opposition to the proposal.
Anderson said he is not seeking donations and will spend little on his campaign. He is trying to gain name recognition through media coverage and by attending candidate debates and forums.
“I want to just prove to people that you can do it,” he said of winning without the support of either major party.
Occupation: Dental lab technician
Political experience: First-time candidate; hosted local cable show that focused on mental health policy
Education: Richfield, Minn., high school; dental technician training.
Family: Divorced; two grown children