Anderson addresses GOP women

Published 11:13 pm Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Several Republican candidates made a stop in Troy Wednesday to address the Pike County Republican Women organization.

Among those was Tom Anderson, seeking the Pike and Coffee County District Attorney seat.

Anderson, current assistant district attorney in the county, said safety and protection of victims is at the heart of why he desires the position as top public defender.

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“I want our beds to be safer places to lay our heads down at night,” Anderson said. “I commit to you I will work hard to achieve those ends.”

Anderson, raised in Enterprise, attended Enterprise Junior College and then Birmingham Southern with the intent of becoming a doctor, like his father.

“One day, I was in cellular and molecular biology, and I thought, ‘You do not enjoy this,’” Anderson said. So, he finished his degree in business and attended law school at the University of Alabama.

After graduation, Anderson and his high school sweetheart and now wife Christina, moved back to Enterprise and worked as a private practice attorney.

“One day, Gary McAliley wanted to have lunch. I wasn’t sure why, but if the DA wanted to have lunch with me I thought I should go,” Anderson said. During that lunch, McAliley told Anderson one of the prosecutors in his office was leaving.

“I asked him who he was looking to replace that person. He said, ‘Funny you should ask that. I’m actually considering you.’”

Anderson said that was never a career path he thought he would take, but for some reason, it seemed like the thing to do.

“I stand before you six years later proud I took the leap,” Anderson said. “That’s why I want to continue to do this. This is not a stepping stone for me. I’m ready to do this until it’s time to hang up my hat, which won’t be for a long time.”

Anderson said in his time in the da’s office, his record has been solid.

“My record speaks for itself,” Anderson said.

Of the more than 50 cases he’s tried to verdict, Anderson said only four of those cases have been lost.

Still, Anderson said he hopes to improve that statistic.

“I hope no one is in need of assistance of the da’s office, but should you be, if I’m in that position, you’ve got someone you can depend on,” he said.

And, Anderson said that will be someone to depend on from day one.

“I’m not going to have a learning curve,” he said.

Anderson will face Coffee County attorney Gary Bradshaw in the Republican primaries in June.

Anderson was the group’s featured speaker, but other Republican candidates addressed those gathered, as well.

Martha Roby, running against Rick Barber in the primary election for the District 2 Congressional Seat held by Democrat Bobby Bright, sought support from the group.

Roby, a member of the Montgomery City Council, said she stands for the sanctity of life, the protection of the second amendment and keep government small, to name a few.

“I am running because I’m absolutely appalled at the way our leaders are spending and spending money we don’t have,” Roby said. “Don’t get me wrong, I want to see our country improve. But, there’s absolutely a better way to do it. The way is to rely on our free market principals and not growing government.”

Hank Erwin, candidate for Ala. lieutenant governor, was represented by his wife Sheila at the luncheon. Erwin will run against Jim Folsom.

“We are running a grassroots campaign, and grassroots means you,” she said.

Sheila Erwin said her husband is a man of integrity and currently serves as the most conservative member of the Ala. Senate.

Local circuit judge candidate Clif Hastings also briefly addressed the group. Hastings, a local attorney, is seeking the seat against Coffee County attorney Shannon Clark.

“My wife asked me one day why I want to do this. I told her, ‘I want to work for people. I want to serve you,’” Hastings said. “I want to do it because I believe each of us has a call to serve our better man. I feel driven to do this, and I want to do this.”

Yates Walker, representative for Rick Barber in the congressional race, was also present.