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story.lead_photo.caption Julie Smith/News Tribune Tim Anderson, candidate for Associate Circuit Judge of Cole County.

As he campaigns for the office of Cole County associate circuit judge, Tim Anderson notes it's ironic the one office the public expects to be the least political is obtained through the political process.

Anderson, who faces Republican Cotton Walker in the Aug. 7 Republican primary, said Judge Tom Sodergren's announcement in late January that he was not going to seek re-election spurred his thoughts toward throwing his hat into the political ring.

"In my 29 years as an attorney, I've been in front of literally hundreds of judges — in each and every level of the court system," he said.

Anderson has practiced before the Missouri Supreme Court, the three divisions of the appellate courts in Missouri as well as every circuit court in the state. He's also appeared on cases in both the Eastern and Western District Court of Appeals.

"I've seen judges of all political persuasions and temperaments, and I've learned much from practicing in front of many," he said. "From my experience, the traits I have valued most in a judge include independence, decisiveness and mutual respect between the bench and bar."

Anderson noted Missouri's judicial code says the judges he has practiced before are, "Indispensable to our system of justice."

"There are many different kinds of experiences attorneys may have in the practice of law, and I've been blessed with a depth and breadth of experience that I believe has well-prepared me to be an associate circuit judge in Cole County," he said. "Respectfully, I would stack my experience up against that of anyone in this election."

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As far as what is the most important issue in this election, Anderson said it boils down to which candidate's experience residents believe has prepared him to be a judge for Cole County.

"One of the vital roles of our judicial system is to — following conviction of an offense — protect the people of our community," he said. "Unfortunately, there are those in every community who, by their actions, declare their intent not to abide by the laws that 'We the People' have enacted through our legislative representatives. When that occurs, though there is a place for mercy, we are first called to do justice."

As of May 1, Anderson's campaign committee, Tim Anderson for Cole County, had $2,342 on hand. The committee had received contributions of more than $100 from: James Landers, $2,600, and Ted Bruce, $500.

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