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Politics in 2022: Commission races begin to take form

Anderson will run (again) as an Independent

First off, Joshua Anderson will run for re-election in District 3 for Anderson County Commission.

Secondly, there has been much wringing of hands and other clichés associated with the 2022 Anderson County Commission after petitions were filed by the Anderson County Republican Party to hold commission elections on a party basis.

Anderson, who is chairman of the Anderson County Commission, said he intends to run as an independent. Party affiliation was not part of his running for Anderson County Commission four years ago when he ran for the office as an independent — nor will party affiliation be part of his campaign this time around.

“I will be on the August ballot for the General Election,” Anderson said.

With the requirements that candidates for local offices be required to state political parties, it seemed, at first glance, Anderson would have to bide by the rules of the federal Hatch Act.

The Hatch Act, “enacted in 1939, was adopted to curb political activities of employees in federal, state, and local governments. The law’s goal is to enforce political neutrality among civil servants: the act prohibits them from holding public office, influencing elections, participating in or managing political campaigns, and exerting undue influence on government hiring.”

But Anderson — who may be one of the youngest county commissioners to hold the position of chairman, if not by age, at least in years served on the body (first term) — said running by party affiliation is something that might need to be looked at in the future.

“I can see where it would maybe matter on a state or national level,” he said. “But on the level here … We all are here to look after this county and I don’t think parties are involved.

“Maybe someone needs to fight this.”

As an “independent,” Anderson, an employee of The United States Postal Service, could be affected by the Hatch Act.

“I ran it through the union,” he said. “I still haven’t heard back from them, but I’m going to run as an independent anyway.”

Anderson had a grass roots campaign in 2018, running as an independent when he was the top vote-getter with 1,222 (34.22-percent) in a field of four candidates in District 3.

At that time, all candidates registered as independents.

Commission seats are presented to voters, and for the first time in numerous years those seats will be on the ballot as Republicans or Democrats.

“My biggest worry,” Anderson said, “Would be people who vote a straight ticket, along party lines.”

He also worries that after the May primary, there might be a candidate from either political party who wants to win the seat no matter the cost and might use the fact Anderson is a USPS employee and cast aspersions on his role as a true “independent.”

“I don’t know, but it’s there,” he said.

Anderson said he doesn’t care what party lines his fellow commissioners run under, and, in 2022 as in 2018, he just wants to work for the citizens in his district.