Soon after establishing his law practice, Anderson entered politics by running for county attorney of Johnson County as a Republican. Anderson won this election, as well as two following elections and served in this capacity until 1953.
Beginning in 1952, Anderson sought to elevate his political career by running for a seat in the Kansas Senate. Again he was successful, holding his office until March 1, 1956. At that time, he was appointed to fill the unexpired term as attorney general. Once in this elective office, Anderson won the two following elections in 1956 and 1958.
By 1960, Anderson was ready for bigger ambitions and entered the race for the office of Governor in the election of that year. He defeated the Democratic incumbent, George Docking, 511,534 to 402,261 (the Prohibition candidate received 8,727). In keeping with his tradition for winning elections in pairs, Anderson also won the 1962 Gubernatorial election. Anderson and his family became the first governor of Kansas to occupy Cedar Crest, which had just been renovated at a cost of one hundred thousand dollars.
In 1964, Anderson chose not to seek re-election, but instead, went back to his law practice in Olathe. He remained active in public service after leaving the governor's office, serving as an attorney for the Board of Healing Arts and the Kansas Turnpike Authority. In addition, he served as the director of the Citizens' Conference on State Legislatures from 1965 to 1972. He was nominated for federal judgeships on a number of occasions, but was never appointed. Again, in 1972 he tried for the Republican Party nomination for governor, but was defeated by Morris Kay.