By: Jonathan Baca, Senior Reporter | Photo Courtesy: andersonforsenate.org, Web
Part-time Political Science instructor Robert Anderson said he is running as a write-in candidate for the New Mexico seat of the US Senate because he felt some very important issues were being overlooked by the major candidates.
Anderson, who is running against incumbent Martin Heinrich (D) and Heather Wilson (R) for the senate seat in the Nov. 6 election, said that his policy goals are to fund education instead of war, create a jobs program focusing on creating a green economy and ensure free health care for all Americans.
“I think the issues facing the country; the economy and lack of jobs, the danger of war, the environmental crisis, the condition of education; these issues are getting worse. Our national priorities are distorted,” he said.
Although Anderson is an independent candidate with no major campaign support, he said he feels that it was worth going for the Senate seat, no matter how difficult it would be.
“I felt that there was too much at stake in this election, so I thought I’ll do the best I can and help people have more information and more options,” said Anderson. “It’s definitely an uphill battle because you don’t have a lot of corporate money and the media doesn’t always give you the coverage that they give other people.”
He said that his background as an educator has given him an appreciation for the importance of education and young people. He said he wants to work toward providing free higher education for any American who meets certain standards as well as ensure that people who feel that college is not right for them have access to other career training programs.
“It’s really important that our young people are prepared for the workforce,” he said.
This is not the first time Anderson has run for public office. He said that he ran as the Green Party candidate for Congress in 1998, for the NM State Legislature and for Albuquerque City Council.
Anderson said that his campaign has been very low budget, relying on dedicated friends and volunteers to help make phone calls and distribute literature.
He said he has taken advantage of any opportunity for a chance to speak to voters in public, such as local meeting forums and other political events. He said he is hoping for an opportunity to debate with the other candidates.
“We even had a float in the State Fair parade, with some of our people handing out literature. Any chance for meet and greet, to shake hands and introduce ourselves,” he said.
Anderson said he feels that his independence from corporate, big money interests is one of his biggest assets, because he can make decisions in the interest of his constituents — not his campaign donors.
“That’s the hardest part though, because they are not going to fund your campaign if you’re critical of their agendas,” he said.
He said he feels that corporate money should be taken out of politics completely, because it corrupts candidates and makes it difficult for small, independent candidates to compete.
“We need to address this issue now. It’s destroying our country,” he said.
Anderson said he has been a teacher for 20 years, working at CNM for the past seven, but that he has been interested in politics most of his life.
Encouraging the students in his political science classes to become more politically aware and active is what Anderson said he enjoys most about teaching.
He said that he grew up in a poor Appalachian town where he saw racism and discrimination. After leaving home, he began to meet other people with different ideas and world views.
Anderson said that although he loves teaching, if he were elected he would be happy to go to Washington to serve the people of New Mexico.
“It would be sad to quit, but it would be worthwhile to move to Washington and do the best job I possibly can to represent New Mexicans,” he said.
For more information on Bob Anderson, visit andersonforsenate. org. Anderson said his name will not be on the ballot, so in order to vote for him, write “Robert Anderson” in the Write-In box under the Senate section of the Nov. 6 ballot.