It used to be, the issues that new Republican Senate District 13 candidate Joshua Anderson wants to run on were viewed as owned by Democrats: environmental protection, criminal justice reform, and paternal and maternal leave.
Anderson, 35, of Orlando, filed last week to take on Democratic state Sen. Linda Stewart in a district covering parts of northern, eastern, and central Orange County.
He’s doing so with a basic Republican philosophy of small government, low taxes, and economic freedom, but also with passions for issues that percolated for decades within the Democratic platforms and have emerged in recent years through many 21st century Republicans such as Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“As far as my general thinking and approach, I am for guiding, not regulation and legislation. I am for resources not be the end-all, be-all; and that we need to work with companies, not tell companies what to do. I am very fiscally conservative. As far as social policies, I am very, very liberal with my approach,” Anderson said.
Which would likely fit in with many voters of SD 13, where the largely liberal Stewart has championed similar social policies and is one of the Democrats’ most outspoken advocates of things like environmental protection
Anderson, an Ohio native, studied broadcast communication and theater production in college, and then slipped into a career in the showbiz technology sector, first working with pyrotechnics and lighting for Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, then working with Walt Disney World. He eventually moving into the showbiz and amusement attractions design and construction business within a cottage industry in Orlando that serves theme parks worldwide. He’s now with Itec Entertainment.
He was a college athlete, playing fullback on the football team, and active in drama, dance, and a variety of other clubs. He’s always spent as much time as he could in nature, a passion he continues in Florida. He is married and has a toddler son.
Anderson is a first-time political candidate who says he’s been active for years pushing for political causes. He has adopted a mentor and roll model Longwood Mayor Matt Morgan, who has quickly risen to power in that Seminole County city with a similar platform of issues and an approach of working with everyone.
He supports DeSantis’ approach to Florida’s environment and seeks efforts to address sea level rise and sustainable energy, believes that paths need to be available for non-violent offenders to avoid prison and find ways redemption, to make sure police have all the resources and funding they need, and to make sure that parents, fathers and mothers, can be assured at least two weeks of parental leave.
“I am very active in wanting to discuss, advise, learn, talk, question. I do not pretend I have all the answers. I want to learn. I want to engage,” Anderson.
“This is one of the most important elections of our lifetime, my lifetime, your lifetime. And we started putting our environment first, as policies. I want to keep that going. I don’t want that to be a partisan issue, I want it to become a Florida issue, and I want to keep that motivation,” he said.