OVERLAND PARK, KS – Overland Park businessman Dennis Anderson today formally announced his candidacy for Kansas Insurance Commissioner. Anderson, a Democrat, was joined in the announcement by former First Lady of Kansas Stacy Parkinson, who will serve as honorary chairwoman of the Anderson campaign. Anderson last November completed preliminary filing documents that permitted him to solicit campaign contributions; today’s announcement and attendant filing formalizes Anderson’s candidacy.
Today’s announcement follows mid-January news of Anderson’s early fundraising success. The $60,000+ reported by Anderson for Insurance Commissioner (period ending December 31, 2013) placed the campaign at the forefront of all “down ticket” statewide races in Kansas for fundraising by Democrats. Anderson’s efforts were highly praised by Kansas Democratic Party (KDP) leadership, including KDP Chairwoman Joan Wagnon, who called Anderson’s efforts “outstanding.”
“Never in history has insurance been a more dynamic and important topic for Kansans,” Anderson said. “It’s in the vital interest of every Kansas family that we elect as Commissioner someone who not only has the requisite knowledge of the industry, but who also has an abiding passion for public service. Consumers are entitled to protection in their insurance purchases; insurance companies and producers deserve fair and reasoned oversight. I am the one candidate in this race who’s uniquely positioned to provide both at the highest level.”
Since 1979 Anderson and his extended family have operated A.D. Banker & Company, the nation’s leading school, publisher and training firm for the licensing and continuing education of insurance producers. The company provides education services to insurance companies, agencies, banks, investment brokers and financial services throughout the U.S. Anderson has served as CEO since 2001, sharing the title with sister Debbie McCoy. The firm is headquartered in Overland Park, where Anderson and family also reside.
“I’m delighted to join Dennis in this effort,” Parkinson said. “Simply put, Kansas has never had the great fortune to find someone with Dennis’s very special and highly applicable qualifications to run for Insurance Commissioner. Voters in our state must not pass on this extraordinary opportunity to vote for someone with Dennis’ knowledge of insurance, background and commitment. I look forward to helping Dennis with his campaign on our frequent trips home during the next ten months.” Parkinson and husband Mark currently live in Washington D.C. where the former Kansas Governor, as CEO, heads the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living.
“I want to ensure that voters come to learn what I already know about Dennis,” Parkinson continued, “that his interest in being Insurance Commissioner is driven by a sincere desire to serve the greater good of all Kansans, not to establish himself in politics. This is important, and I believe it distinguishes Dennis from others in the race.”
“We can expect Republican candidates quickly to turn the Insurance Commissioner’s race into a political football, which is hugely disappointing,” Anderson said. “In fact, it’s happened already,” he continued. “Even the most moderate of the Republicans is trying to make the election for Insurance Commissioner a referendum on the Affordable Care Act.
“I’m suggesting to Kansas voters from both political parties that now is the time to set aside partisan bickering and that we not play games with the insurance issues that impact all Kansans,” Anderson continued. “As a household expenditure, insurance of all kinds – health, life, auto, homeowners, personal and so on – is a significant portion of every family’s budget. It’s time – past time, really – that we showed some respect for that concept and for the hard-working Kansans who face that reality.
“We’re finding that this reasoning resonates with Kansans in our early fundraising efforts,” Anderson said. “We’ve raised enough already to know that our candidacy will be viable and well-funded. We still have much hard work ahead of us, but we’re appreciative of and encouraged by this early support.” Anderson’s campaign staff currently numbers three professionals and one administrative assistant.
Chairwoman Wagnon echoed Anderson’s sentiments. “We fully expect Republicans to attempt their typical techniques of misdirection, instilling fear and assigning blame in this race,” she said, “but we believe the KDP has found its Insurance Commissioner candidate in Dennis Anderson. His track-record in business, as well as his devotion to the ideal of helping real people, clearly demonstrate his ability and willingness to work across the aisle to the benefit of all Kansans. Dennis will be part of an extremely strong Kansas Democrat ticket in 2014.”
A lifelong Kansan, Anderson was graduated from Smith Center High School in 1975; from Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics in 1979. He has been an active member of the Kappa Sigma Alumni Association and Hall of Fame member; and past chairman of the Gamma Chi Alumni Association Charitable Gift Fund, which provides educational scholarships to qualifying members.
Dennis and his wife Patti have a combined family with five children.