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Anderson announces House run in new District 9A

Pilot and son of former state senator from Wadena will seek legislative seat

A pilot and the son of a well-known former state senator from Wadena has announced he will run as a Republican for the newly redrawn District 9A, which includes parts of Wadena, Todd and Cass counties.

On Tuesday, Feb. 21, the Minnesota Judicial Court posted online its redistricting conclusions as well as maps of the new Minnesota political district boundaries. Shortly after, former Wadena graduate Mark Anderson registered as a candidate for the newly created Minnesota House of Representatives District 9A seat.

Anderson, an avid sportsman, currently lives in Lake Shore, Cass County. He has one 18-year old daughter. He is the son of former Wadena businessman Don Anderson, who not only owned the Red Owl Store, but who also served the people of the Wadena, Todd, Otter Tail and Douglas counties as their state senator from 1982 to 1990.

Anderson founded his first business at age 23: The Channel Inn & Granny's Pub, located on Gull Lake, north of Brainerd. He also has financial experience as a stock broker from a firm in Edina, Minn.

But his heart yearned in another direction: toward the sky. So Anderson enrolled at the University of North Dakota -- Center For Aerospace Sciences, where he earned a bachelor's degree in airway science, aircraft systems management.

Most of Anderson's flight experience over the years has been achieved through entrepreneurship as a self-employed contract pilot/instructor. Now 53 years old, he has flown 56 different models of aircraft and is qualified to fly a variety of jets, including the Boeing 747. He set a national flight record in 2003 and is listed in the book World and United States Aviation & Space Records. He continues today in business aviation on a contract basis as pilot, aircraft manager and aviation consultant.

Anderson still has family roots in Wadena as his brother G.P. Anderson is well known for his Christmas In Wadena light display. Throughout 2009, Anderson wrote the articles about Musky, The Traveling Muskrat, which were published in the Wadena Pioneer Journal.

Anderson's political involvement began under the influence of his father, Don. Anderson provided sideline support as a campaign volunteer throughout the 1980s. During the summer of 1980, Mark attended a national political convention, which at that time, sparked the initial pilot light in his mind that perhaps someday, he too would seek to serve the public.

According to Anderson, his time has come. He said he hopes, through the support of the District 9A voters, to carry his business understandings, ethics and experiences to the Minnesota Legislature at a level of leadership before unseen, while at the same time addressing the personal needs of the district constituents. Anderson's quest is to "transform Minnesota's laughing-stock business image from that of an overregulated failed bureaucratic disaster, to a shining role model of free market simplicity and success, attracting the attention of businesses not only within the region, but also nationally."

Anderson said he understands the historical establishment and structure of the Minnesota Legislature was intended to be comprised of citizen legislators, serving on a part-time basis. His stated mission is not to become a full-time, self-serving career politician, but to reestablish the part-time statesmen principles held by the country's founding fathers, who after gathering and participating in enacting legislation, returned home to take care of their families and businesses.

Should he be elected, Anderson anticipates doing the same, though his office is frequently 40,000 feet above the Earth. His constant quote is, "There is something about going 500 miles per hour that never gets tiring."