As a 28-year-old West Point graduate who recently acquired his master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Anthony Woods would seem to have his hands full will opportunity to the fingertips. Woods, however, has his eye on the soon-to-be vacant seat in California’s 10th Congressional district, and announced his candidacy.
While Woods credentials speaks volumes, he has a wealth of obstacles to overcome. First – he’s a rookie with no political experience, second -he’s Black, third- he’s gay. While the first two hurdles are a non-issue these days, the latter is by far the largest.
The well-studied Congressional hopeful was an Army veteran in Iraq, but was discharged for being gay under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Although he has yet to build a political reputation, Woods took some notes from the grass roots movement President Obama launched and raised more than $100,000 through social networking sites, like Twitter and Facebook, for the fund-raising quarter that ended June 30th.
Woods, the two tour Iraq War vet also recruited more than 800 donors, beating all his competitors by a landslide.
Woods’ ability to identify within the gay black community and the increasing number of gays in the California could prove to be monumental if he wins.
Woods could be the first person to rise above being a fallen victim of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to the first openly gay, black man to be elected to Congress.