Rep. Johnny Anderson is hanging up his legislative boots after three terms in office.
Anderson, R-Taylorsville, tells UtahPolicy.com that he decided not to run for another term in 2016 because he feels he can no longer keep up with the demands of his business.
Anderson says his business partner, his mother, is retiring, which is adding extra strain on his time.
“She turned 66 this year, and she had talked about retiring for a number of years, but held off because of my involvement in this,” said Anderson.
Anderson owns a chain of daycares and recently won a large after school contract.
“My mom came to me and said she might need to wait to retire because of this new contract. I didn’t want her to put this off anymore.”
Anderson was appointed in 2009 to finish out the term of Rep. Kory Holdaway.
In 2010, Anderson easily defeated Democrat Clover Meaders by 1,563 votes.
The 2012 election was a closer affair for Anderson as he topped Democrat Celena Milner by 791 votes.
2014 was an even closer race for Anderson. He beat Democrat Karen Kwan by less than 500 votes. Kwan is back for another go-around in District 34 this year. There are also two Republicans already in the race, Jack Castellanos, and Macade Jensen.
Without an incumbent in the race, control of the seat becomes more of a toss-up. Utah Democrats have been desperate to win the district and have come close twice.
Anderson says his time on the Hill has been rewarding.
“Being able to work on that comprehensive transportation stuff was great,” he says. “But, this wears on you. It was a lot more fun in the beginning. It’s time to give someone else an opportunity.”
Anderson is the 6th Republican in the House to announce they will not seek re-election in 2016. Reps. David Lifferth, Jacob Anderegg and Don Ipson are pursuing an open seat in the Utah Senate. Reps. Jack Draxler and Kay McIff are retiring.