Failed CD-10 candidate named Candidate of the Year and one of 2009’s Best and Brightest by Esquire magazine

“He’s an Iraq-war vet, a West Point and Harvard grad, one of the first openly gay black men to run for Congress. And, now, in debt and out of a job. But that’s just the beginning of his story.”

This is Esquire magazine, introducing its profile of Anthony Woods in its December issue.

At 29, Woods, an economic policy analyst, returned to his hometown of Fairfield in March to run for the congressional seat left open by Ellen Tauscher’s decision to leave California’s 10th congressional district and go work for President Obama’s administration.

From the beginning, Todd Stenhouse, the political consultant Woods hired to guide his campaign, “recognized the potential in Woods’s story: a decorated Iraq-war veteran kicked out of the Army for being gay; a young African-American man raised without health insurance by a single mother, going on to West Point and Harvard.”

Yes, as I noted in a post, back in July, that Woods’ backstory was the dream of any progressive Hollywood scriptwriter.

As the Esquire story continues: “In the age of personality-driven politics, [Stenhouse] knew he could get media attention for Woods that other first-time candidates, no matter how good their intentions, would never receive. And if the campaign could use the online organizing tools perfected by Obama to transform that attention into strong grassroots support, Woods might just surprise the establishment and come out on top.”

Well, that didn’t happen. In the September 1 run-off, Woods came in fifth, behind leader, Lt. Governor John Garamendi, who went on to win the November 3 special election. The Esquire story points out that Woods recognized that, in “a business that is famously local, his candidacy was garnering more attention on the national stage than within the district.”

Woods is back in Washington, weighing his options, including whether he’ll run again and how he would do things differently next time. He said in a candidate’s debate at St. Mary’s College in August that he believed that it was time to send a younger generation to Washington, and someone who had grown up knowing what it’s like to live inside a failed policy.

The Esquire story continues: “When the debate ended, [Garamendi] was gone within minutes, but Woods remained standing in the aisle, where voters had lined up to speak with him.”

4 thoughts on “Failed CD-10 candidate named Candidate of the Year and one of 2009’s Best and Brightest by Esquire magazine

  1. I voted for Anthony Woods but I am disappointed that he left so many campaign signs here and there after the election. There are still Woods signs in several locations around Walnut Creek.

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  2. I also voted for Anthony Woods. Didn't think he'd win, but I couldn't stomach Garamendi. I like Joan Buchanan, but her running so soon after the assembly race was a big turn off.

    Actually, I could have a crush on Woods, but, oh well, he's gay, and I'm not into torturing myself over someone I can't have! Why are all the good ones married or gay?!?

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  3. Well I guess your article is a little late. I didnt even know he ran in the election. Ive never even heard of him until today.

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