State Legislature profiles for District 66B: Warren Andersen

Warren Anderson is running for the Republican Party.

Jason Juno

Warren Anderson said that if elected, he would not vote to give the University any additional money until he found out how the current funds were used.

He said he would also decrease funding to sports and light rail but support education and personal rapid transit.

Anderson, a Republican, is running for the State House of Representatives in District 66B, which includes the University’s St. Paul campus.

His Democratic challenger, Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul, has been in office since 1989.

Anderson said he thinks they have a lot to debate about but does not think he will win. Nonetheless, he does not have a problem running, he said.

“That’s why I am running in an impossible district, somebody has got to be here Ö (to) keep the opposition honest,” he said.

One of his first projects would be to decrease funding for the University athletics department, he said.

“A lot of coaches would be looking for new jobs,” he said.

He said he is not against sports, but the money would be better spent on higher salaries for professors and teaching assistants.

“The purpose of the University is to get an education, a high-quality education, especially for people that can’t afford to get into other schools,” Anderson said.

University Athletics Director Joel Maturi disagreed with some of Anderson’s views.

“We don’t get that much support from the state,” he said.

Maturi said he believes a lack of support for college athletics across the country has led to an “arms race,” in which athletics programs are run like businesses. Yet athletics departments are allowed to spend the money they generate, he said. That means higher ticket prices and increased pressure to win, he said.

Maturi said it is common across the country for athletics departments to get state support. Sports are also a part of university life, he said.

Anderson said he has other plans for the state’s public transportation system.

“I am adamantly, completely, without a doubt opposed, and will do everything to stop any further expansion of light rail,” Anderson said. “It is an absolute waste of money.”

He said light rail would “destroy” business along University Avenue, which was unsafe 20 years ago, until businesses changed that.

Instead, Anderson said, he favors personal rapid transit, an above-ground system that fits up to three people in a mini-car and goes directly where riders want.

Karen Keljik has known Anderson for 20 years and has worked with him since he began at Edina Realty this year.

“He is the most incredible gentleman I know,” Keljik said. “He has old-fashioned values that people don’t seem to have anymore.”

She said he is a hard worker and handles the pressure of realty well. She said it is a seven-day-per-week job – working for customers as a resource, therapist and organizer.

Anderson graduated in 1983 from Macalester College in St. Paul with a bachelor’s degree in political science and history. In 1990, he got his first teaching license. He is single and has lived in the area for at least 11 years.