A recent decision by a Bedford Republican sets up the first race on the May 2 primary ballot in Jackson County.
Pharmacist Josh Anderson recently announced his plans to seek the District 44 Senate presently held by Republican Brent Steele. Steele, a Bedford attorney, made the decision in the summer of 2015 that this would be his final year as a state senator.
In early December, state District 65 Rep. Eric Koch, R-Bedford, said he planned to seek Steele’s seat. Koch is an attorney.
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Anderson said he believes voters are getting a little tired of the status quo, and that’s the main reason behind his decision to run. His strategy for beating Koch and any other potential challengers in the May 2 primary is easy, he said.
“Getting out and talking to voters and letting them know what I’m about and where I stand on issues,” the 36-year-old said.
The filing period begins Wednesday morning. Senate District 44 includes all of Jackson County with the exception of Grassy Fork, Vernon and Washington townships. It also includes parts of Bartholomew and Monroe counties.
Anderson said he recently met with Steele, who encouraged him to run.
“With all of the changes going on with health care, someone who has real experience in health care should represent what the population really needs instead of lobbyists and special interest groups speaking for them,” Anderson said. “I have seen so much waste and fraudulent activities in the field of health care that raise prices for my patients. I feel that I can really make a difference at the legislative level.”
The drug epidemic is a focus for Anderson, who served on a prescription drug abuse task force for Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, he said.
“I am proud of what we have accomplished, but there is so much more work to be done,” Anderson said.
“Crowders (a Bedford pharmacy partly owned by Anderson) was the first pharmacy in the state to implement the yellow jug prescription take-back program, getting unused drugs out of medicine cabinets and keeping them out of our water system, among many other benefits,” he said.
Anderson also is part owner and operator of Lincoln Plaza Pharmacy and Med Shoppe Pharmacy in Bedford and Panacea Pharmacy in Bloomington.
“My wife (Laura) and I have invested quite a bit of ourselves into our community,” Anderson said. “We want our boys to be proud of where they come from and have job opportunities when the time comes.”
Being a father of three boys, education is of utmost importance, he said.
“I feel that legislators are too involved in the process,” Anderson said. “We need to be listening to the teachers and other education professionals to improve our schools. They are on the front line, and nobody better understands their needs than them.”
The Andersons also were two of the founders of Stone Cutters Cafe and Roastery on the historic downtown square in Bedford.
“We are proud to be a part of the revitalization efforts in our city,” he said.
Name: Josh Anderson
Family: Wife, Laura Hodges Anderson; three sons, twin 7-year-olds and a 4-year-old