Plymouth Sen. Paul Anderson Gives Farewell Speech
Monday not only marked the end of the second special legislative session at the Minnesota state Capitol, it was also an opportunity for a Plymouth lawmaker to bid farewell to his colleagues and constituents.
Five months after announcing he wouldn’t seek re-election, one-term Republican state Sen. Paul Anderson, who represents Plymouth and Minnetonka, delivered his retirement speech on the Senate floor Monday.
“The title of state senator is an incredible honor, members,” Anderson said. “The responsibility to represent nearly 80,000 citizens in our communities is an unbelievable privilege. Humility in this job, and in life, goes a long way.”
In the 16-minute speech, Anderson thanked his family, the voters in his district, his fellow lawmakers and staff members. But much of his speech was devoted to acknowledging the influence former U.S. Representative Jim Ramstad had on his career.
“Jim was always working on behalf of others, and with others, no matter what their politics, to get things done,” Anderson said. “In a challenging environment, I hope I’ve lived up to this charge as well.”
During his nearly four years in office, Anderson said he was grateful for the work he did on issues such as small business relief grants, higher education, workforce development training and helping disadvantaged students.
‘We can do better’
Anderson also acknowledged the partisan nature of today’s political world and asked his colleagues to “do better.”
“Frankly speaking, both nationally and here in Minnesota, it’s become a political dumpster fire, and we can all do better,” Anderson said. “The villainization of each other, at times here at the Capitol, but especially on social media is just too much. And I know all of you. I think I’ve gotten to know every one of you, and I know that’s not your heart. So I hope at some point we can do better.”
Sen. Anderson owns a consulting firm, The Anderson Group. His past work includes serving as deputy chief of staff for former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.
The Senate District 44 seat is expected to be a top target of the DFL Party. Anderson defeated DFL opponent Deb Calvert by a mere 195 votes in 2016 following a recount.