A minister and former military chaplain, Senator Tonya P. Anderson began her political career at Lithonia City Hall before moving to the Capitol for two terms in the House followed by a 2016 WIN to serve Senate District 43 since.

Senator Anderson’s trajectory could easily serve as inspiration for those considering a run for one of more than 3,000 municipal offices statewide– with half of these frequently uncontested non-partisan positions on ballots this November. Georgia’s municipal elections fall on odd-numbered years and qualifying for those posts begins later this summer. Qualifying dates and requirements for service vary – check with your city clerk for more information.

After more than two decades service in the Air Force Reserve which included time as an Air Force chaplain, Senator Anderson was elected as a Lithonia city councilwoman to serve from 2006 to 2008. She moved up to serve as Mayor of Lithonia from 2008 to 2011, adding her name to what was then a short list of African American women mayors in Georgia. During her tenure, Lithonia received stellar ratings for city financial audits. More recently, the Georgia Municipal Association honored her in 2018 for her strong support of local government.

“I began my political journey in 2006, as a City Councilman. I learned how much public policy impacts the local community. As a State Senator, I keep that same view in mind when I work for the people of GA. My most recent legislation positively impacts the entire state’s  criminal justice system by allowing some formerly incarcerated individuals to have a second chance to rebuild their lives and communities.” Sen. Anderson said.

She is the immediate past chair of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus. She is a member of the Senate Economic Development & Tourism, Regulated Industries and Utilities, Reapportionment & Redistricting, MARTOC, Veterans, Military & Homeland Security Committees, and Banking & Financial Institutions. Earlier, she served as Chair of the Women’s Legislative Caucus, unifying Republicans and Democrats to address issues affecting Georgian women and families.

Senate District 43 covers parts of DeKalb, Newton and Rockdale counties. Her primary focus for legislative activity includes work on criminal justice reform, support for the military, and support for families, including improvements in education. Senator Anderson was recently named president-elect for NOBEL Women, the national organization for Black elected women. Other national and local memberships include Women in Government, NBCSL, GLBC, and NFWL, as well as Atlanta Regional Commission’s Regional Leadership Institute and Leadership DeKalb. Additionally, she volunteers in her community through local Senior Centers, NCNW, the NAACP, NCBW 100 and several non-profit boards. Read more in her bio. 

During the 2024 election cycle, WIN List will work to promote and defend valued incumbents like Senator Anderson even as we work to recruit quality candidates for seats a Democratic woman could FLIP. Already WIN List is meeting with and encouraging 2024 legislative candidates.

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