On the heels of his GOP runoff win for the state Senate District 24 seat, Columbia County native Lee Anderson says he plans to put his past political experience to good use in Atlanta if elected.
Anderson is up against Democrat Brenda Jordan in November to replace longtime Sen. Bill Jackson, a Republican.
As a member of the House, Anderson served on agriculture, transportation and natural resources committees and was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to the state Board of Corrections, where he served for two years. Anderson spoke with The Augusta Chronicle after his victory Tuesday over Greg Grzybowski.
Q: How do you feel after coming off of your runoff victory, and how confident are you going into the next race?
A: I feel great. It’s awesome. I have had a tremendous amount of people call and congratulate me, locally and up in the other counties we represent. We feel very confident, very good. I have been in an election or two and I don’t take anything for granted. The main thing is to reach out to the people. Send our message out and ask for their voting support. I am a firm believer in asking the people, going to the people one on one and asking for their voting support as much as I can.
Q: What are your thoughts on the tight race in Columbia County?
A: I want to say this, that Greg ran a great campaign, my hat is off to him. He worked. That’s another reason that campaigns are close is that when both opponents work for it, it’s going to be close, especially a runoff. At the same time, I want him and his supporters to know that I am there for them. And I want to reach out to them any way that I can because we need to come together and be a team in November. I want to know what their concerns are. I want them to call me, and I will be reaching out to them asking what their concerns are.
Q: How do you think your experience in the House will translate if you win the Senate seat?
A: I feel like I have a very good advantage of already having very good relationships in Atlanta with people all over the state, and they know that when I come up there that I’m a true believer in helping the state of Georgia, not Lee Anderson. You can keep the title. I am the type that you give me an issue, I’m going to work on it and try to get the best situation out of that issue and move on to another one. You can’t do it by yourself. If you think you’re going to go up there and change a lot of things, you might as well stay home. You do have to go see what the options are. I learned this from my daddy that you can learn a lot more by just listening than talking. So I go to meetings and I do very little talking at meetings. I go get the facts, and then I go to work on how I can help the situation and do the right thing for whatever the situation is.
Q: What kind of new experiences or differences are you expecting in the Senate?
A: In the House, you have 180 members. In the Senate you have 56 senators. So you have less people so the workload is more because you have a larger area, but it’s going to be different there for me because when I was a House member I represented three counties and in this I will represent eight counties. The workload will be more and the challenge will be more, but I feel like over my years of experience I have the wisdom and knowledge to tackle it and move forward.
Q: Any final thoughts?
A: We all have to come together because our country as a whole, on a national level is a mess. I am going to be 110 percent Donald Trump because he is our nominee, and I believe when it gets down to this stage of the campaign that whoever the nominee is you have to get behind them and support them because that’s what’s going to make a win. I’m going to be here for all Republicans running for office locally and on the national level. We all need to come together and send a message to Atlanta that we have good solid conservative Republicans running for office and also more importantly send a message to Washington, D.C., that it’s time to get back to what our forefathers meant and have a good solid country. We need to get Donald Trump elected president.