Ross Anderson is not your normal political candidate. He's taken public stands and defended people and ideas involving issues that haven't always been popular in Utah, issues Anderson believes were simply right.

Anderson, 44, and known as Rocky to his acquaintances, is a twice-divorced father of a teenager. By profession he's an attorney, but his interests are wide-ranging and varied.It's fair to say he's lived a life many people growing up in the 1960s thought they would but haven't. Anderson has fought for unpopular causes against the Establishment, standing up for a condemned killer, battling Salt Lake police in an attempt to find the killer of three local women and representing Rachel Bauchman in her federal suit against West High choir's signing of religious songs.

Anderson grew up in Ogden and Cache Valley, his family running Anderson Lumber Co. He came to the University of Utah as a philosophy major, but he switched to law after deciding he wanted to do something about society, not just talk about it.

Pick a traditional Democratic issue, and Anderson is there. Not just there because he's now in a political race - a slam at Atkinson - but he always has been there. But while he admits he may be "kind of liberal" on social issues, he maintains he's a fiscal conservative.

He wants to give Social Security and Medicare benefits only to people who financially need the assistance. He wants to cap mortgage-interest deductions at $20,000 a year and allow it only on primary residences. He aims to stop the break for rich people who own $300,000 houses and second or third homes.

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He favors light-rail mass transit in Salt Lake County and wants 5.7 million acres of wilderness in the state. He's pro-choice, wants campaign and government reform and distrusts many big institutions.

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