Salt Lake attorney Ross Anderson, a Democrat, announced his candidacy for Utah's 2nd Congressional District seat Tuesday.
Described by peers as a man of great social conscience, Anderson opened his comments Tuesday with a commitment to serve as a problem solver."I am vitally concerned about the problems - and the grand possibilities - facing our country today," Anderson told a group of supporters at the Peery Hotel. ". . . I know I have the vision, the abilities, the energy and the commitment to help solve these problems - and achieve those possibilities."
More than anyone else he knows, Anderson targets a case of social unfairness and goes after it, said E.K. Hunt, professor and chairmen of the University of Utah department of economics.
Hunt further described his friend as socially responsible, often using his legal work to carve away trends of injustice.
The father of a teenage son, Anderson said parenthood forces him to think clearly about the nation's future.
"My love for Luke can best be demonstrated by leaving him a world and a community that is safe, that is clean and healthy, that is enriching to him culturally and spiritually," he said.
"In short, we have the chance to leave a heritage for which we can be proud - and I will do what I can to see that our children one day look back and exclaim, `They really did it. They paid off, finally, their own debt; they cleaned up, finally, their own environmental messes, and they provided us the quality education necessary to continue moving forward,' " Anderson said.
Above all, he said he wants less "partisan bickering" in Congress and more hard work, namely to balance the budget, eliminate the deficit and protect the environment.
A native Utahn, Anderson gained local acclaim as a successful lawyer involved in several high-profile cases, including Regan vs. Salt Lake County, which ended strip-searching of women arrested for minor traffic violations.
But his background isn't all white collar. Anderson worked as a roof-truss builder, truck driver, construction laborer, cab driver and roofer before entering the practice of law.
He is a graduate of the University of Utah and George Washington University and served as past chairman of the Utah State Bar Litigation Section.
Anderson has instructed courses on civil rights, joint child custody and other legal issues. He's served on the board of directors of organizations including Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, American Civil Liberties Union, Utah Common Cause and Guadalupe Center Educational Programs.
"I pledge to the people of this district that I will . . . avoid partisan bickering and posturing and work on cooperatively solving our fundamental problems - and to achieve the grand possibilities offered by our great country," he said Tuesday.
In campaigning for the seat currently held by Rep. Enid Greene Waldholtz, R-Utah, Anderson formally joins the ranks of what could be a busy ticket.
Aside from Anderson, only fellow Democrat Jim McConkie has formally announced he'll run for the seat. Others who have hinted they'll join the race include Merrill Cook, as well as two of Waldholtz's former top aides, David Harmer and Greg Engeman.