TV host to run again for Lawrence City Commission

Local television talk show host Mike Anderson filed Tuesday to run for one of three Lawrence City Commission seats on this year's ballot.

Mike Anderson, the host of “The Not So Late Show” on Channel 6, says he is running again for Lawrence City Commission because his message two years ago resonated with Lawrence voters.

“The last time up, it was a wonderful campaign,” the 35-year-old Anderson said. “I finished seventh, just a few votes short. I had good feedback, so I decided to run again. I know I can make a positive difference in the city I love.”

Anderson said he would speak to a number of core issues in his campaign, starting with economic development.

“There’s many aspect to my campaign, but it all starts with well-managed economic growth,” he said. “Lawrence needs economic growth.”

Anderson said one way he would support that growth would be through programs that encouraged entrepreneurship. He said he would advocate for a revolving loan fund and “philanthropic” scholarships for people looking to start or expand businesses.

Recent growth in downtown Manhattan suggests another way Lawrence could encourage growth of its own, Anderson said.

“I’m very keen in moving forward on building a convention and conference center in Lawrence,” he said. “Lawrence is missing out to Kansas City, Topeka and Manhattan by not having a convention center. I don’t think there’s any doubt the growth of downtown Manhattan is attributable to its convention center.”

Anderson said he would also campaign for improved walkability and bike lanes. For those reasons, as well as his belief that Lawrence should embrace the arts, he would make support of the East Ninth Project a focus of his campaign, he said.

After commissioners rejected a $3.5 million dollar plan to reconstruct East Ninth Street as an arts corridor last year, a scaled-back version of the plan was presented in March. That proposal would rebuild Ninth Street between Delaware and New Jersey streets with new curbs and gutters, storm sewers and sidewalks on both sides of the street. The total cost of that project would be about $2 million.

Anderson said he supported a proposed public arts element of the Ninth Street project and would advocate for the arts in general if elected. The arts should be the first thing that comes to mind when people think of Lawrence, he said.

Anderson has a doctorate in communications from KU. He taught courses in problem solving, research methods and public speaking while studying at KU, and has also worked as an adjunct professor in the communications department of Haskell Indian Nations University.