Wood Calls for New Leadership, Renewing Public Trust in Government
Alexandrian Bob Wood, a Republican, officially launches his campaign to secure a seat on City Council this November.
Alexandrian Bob Wood officially made his bid for City Council on Thursday morning, citing deep community roots, leadership and management skills, military duty and ability to renew public trust in government.
Wood, a lieutenant general who spent 36 years in the military, was most recently in Alexandria’s public eye as a member of the Waterfront Plan Work Group. During his press conference in front of City Hall, Wood said he adamantly would have voted against the city’s plan to redevelop its riverside.
“Alexandria has a storied history, but I’m afraid its present is unsettled and its promising future less certain,” said the 1968 T.C. Williams High School graduate. “This election in November is an important opportunity for Alexandria’s citizens to reset City Hall, reestablish dialogue and renew public trust in city government.”
He added that the current city government “seems anxious to fight its citizens or its own agencies in costly legal battles rather than sustaining dialogue and seeking mutually agreeable solutions.”
Wood said during a question and answer session that he plans to “pay close attention to” the management of the city’s public school system and supports mixed use and better oversight of the city’s public housing issues.
He noted that he has considered himself independent of the two main political parties for most of his life, but by running as a Republican now he would be able to restore balance and discussion on City Council. Currently there are five Democrats including the mayor, one Republican and one independent on City Council. Fourteen Democrats are running for a council seat in the June Democratic primary in which six slots are available. The deadline for Republicans to declare their intentions is Thursday evening.
Councilman Frank Fannon, the only Republican currently on council, attended Wood’s press conference, telling Patch he is pleased Wood has entered the race, looks forward to serving with him on council and respects Wood’s “leadership skills.”
Wood mentioned he respects Fannon for the stand he took voting against the city’s waterfront plan and for asking the “tougher questions.”
Mayoral candidate Andrew Macdonald, who is running as an independent, said Wood’s entrance into the race “broadens the conversation.”
Boyd Walker, a Democratic candidate for council, also attended the event. He co-founded Citizens for an Alternative Alexandria Waterfront Plan with Macdonald, but stepped away from the group when he announced his council candidacy.
Wood opened his own consulting business in Alexandria in 2009. He lives in Old Town with his wife Margaret. His children, who graduated from Bishop Ireton as well as Virginia universities, also reside in Alexandria.