Joshua Anderson lands job at State Capitol

Joshua Anderson’s student leadership activities, volunteer efforts, and interest in politics have paid off.

He has landed a job with the Minnesota House of Representatives Republican Caucus.

 “I was raised with conservative values — the principles of personal responsibility, realizing the value of a dollar, about saving, having costs covered . . . and social values as well,” Anderson said during a recent interview.    “But I didn’t really know that growing up. As I got older I realized more and more that those values matched up with Republican values.”

He remembers being interested in politics during fourth-grade. “It was a good time to be a Republican during the years 2000-2004 when I was growing up,” he said, “and whether in sports or politics, people like to hitch their wagon to a winning team.”

The son of Lynn and Nancy Anderson, Joshua is a 2010 graduate of Springfield High School and attended Southwest Minnesota University – Marshall where he majored in business management and minored in political science, graduating in May 2014.  He was student body president during his senior year.

He was advised not to wear his political affiliation on his sleeve during college. “I put it away. It lasted for about two weeks,” he said with a laugh. He wasn’t afraid to debate politics with his professors. He was always in student leadership — as a student body vice president, senator, or president — and he figures that gave him leeway to make his points known. The SMSU campus is pretty conservative, he noted. “When I took a professor on in a debate, the chances are there were classmates there that would back me up,” he said with a chuckle.

The day after his college graduation, he went to work for Marty Seifert on the campaign trail in Seifert’s quest for Minnesota Governor. 

Anderson, 23, was a driver and campaign assistant to Seifert. “Wherever he went, I went,” he explained.  “Every single day this past summer we were driving or flying somewhere. We were going to every county, every Perkins, every small town.”

 “I enjoyed it,” he continued. “I got to see a lot more of Minnesota than I probably will ever see the rest of my life.  You think you know the state, but you really don’t know it until you’re in an airplane and flying over Hibbing and landing in the Iron Range.  That’s a completely different world,” he commented.   The best place interesting and fun,.... he visited was Baudette at the end of the campaign trail.   towards end of August, beautiful on Canadian border  “We made sure we had a  little more time to spend there.”

They were busy campaigners. It was not unusual for them to attend four or five events in one day. “If there was a newspaper or radio station in a town, we’d stop there,” Anderson noted. “I was with him on every single one of those interviews.”

Anderson was one of many people who encouraged Seifert to run for governor. Joshua was mowing his lawn one day during the summer of 2013 when he received a telephone call from Seifert, telling him that he was thinking about running for governor, and wondered if he would be able to help.

Anderson was one of the very first people that Seifert told that he was running for governor. ““I got really excited.    It was fascinating,” Anderson recalled.  It was very fun to know but it was very tough to keep that one a secret. “People love him here and they would ask me if Marty was going to run. I knew it all summer but I couldn’t tell anyone about it until November 21.”

Anderson accompanied Seifert to Springfield the day he announced to the Rotary Club that he was headed in the gubernatorial race. “It was the first group of people to hear that from Marty,” Anderson recalled.

“I met a lot of people who make our state move. I got to meet activists all over the state. I was pretty familiar with Brown County politics and First Congressional District politics. I could connect the names with the people.”

So he did all the right things that provided him the opportunity to get fulltime work at the Capitol.

Anderson is legislative assistant to Jason Rarick of Pine city and Nick Zerwas of Elk River. As a legislative assistant, he handles the day-to-day operations of the two elected representatives —making appointments, taking calls from constituents, researching various issues, and completing administrative duties that keep an office humming.

And with the incoming Republican majority in the Minnesota House of Representatives, “politics should be fun,” he said.

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