DNR worker hopes to fix budget

Published 9:56 am Monday, June 11, 2012

WALTHAM — Republican Linden Anderson didn’t go into the filing period expecting to throw his hat in the ring for state Senate to challenge Democrat Dan Sparks. In fact, it wasn’t until the last day of the filing period that he did.

“There wasn’t anybody else running,” he said. “I had considered running as a candidate for a number of years and had never put my name on the ballot.”

Anderson filed on June 5. He said his endorsement by the Mower County Republican Party gave him the extra motivation to file. Mower County GOP members sent an email out around the end of May and beginning of June in hopes of finding a suitable candidate to run against Sparks. Anderson had worked with the party on caucuses before and decided to go for it.

Email newsletter signup

He said his focus as senator would be to “keep working toward paying off our bills.” He pointed to the state’s heavy borrowing from schools to balance the budget.

“We need to be making sure they get their money as soon as we can,” he said.

Anderson said the Legislature needed to be thinking about the next generation and not saddling it with debt.

His interests extend beyond the monetary. For the last 25 years, Anderson has worked for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. A long career with the department keeps environmental concerns bright on his radar.

“I’m going to be a heavy advocate for conservation and for natural resources of all different kinds,” he said.

Anderson has lived on a family farm near Waltham “for pretty much all my life,” he said.

The short time Anderson was gone he spent pursuing higher education. He now holds a degree from Austin Community College (now Riverland Community College) in fish and wildlife management and an associate degree in law enforcement from Rochester Community and Technical College.

Anderson said he is involved with his church and the community, and plans to help out with this summer’s Hayfield Hey Days.

At the DNR, Anderson spent the last year in the position of resource management technician, which has him spending time out in state parks and on trails.

“We’re doing lots of prescribed burns to encourage native prairies,” he said. “We’re working a lot to control the invasive species of plants that are coming in.”

His work also requires planting and mowing, he said.

He is involved with a local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation and will be chairman for part of the National Trappers Association happening in Owatonna this August.

Anderson has no experience running for office, though he did act as campaign manager for Brian Thiel when Thiel ran against state Rep. Jeanne Poppe, DFL-Austin, in 2008.

As election season gears up, Anderson said he expects to be walking in a lot of parades and meeting local constituents. He said he hopes the people he meets realize that he would conduct himself in office exactly as he represents himself in person.

“What they see out on the campaign is what they’re going to get,” he said.