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Former Fresno councilman makes a coastal run for Congress

Michael Erin Woody (left) in a 1994 photo when he was a member of the Fresno City Council, and (right) as he appears now on his campaign website running for the 24th Congressional District on the Central Coast.
Michael Erin Woody (left) in a 1994 photo when he was a member of the Fresno City Council, and (right) as he appears now on his campaign website running for the 24th Congressional District on the Central Coast. Fresno Bee file photo; Woody campaign website

Remember Michael Erin Woody, Fresno’s onetime political boy wonder when he was elected to the Fresno City Council in 1992 at the age of 26?

Woody’s political career got sidelined when, after only one term representing northeast Fresno’s District 6 on the council, he ran an ill-fated campaign to challenge then-Mayor Jim Patterson in 1996. And he fell short in 2000 of winning back the council seat, losing to Jerry Duncan.

After 17 years, Woody – who was known in Fresno as much for his youthful good looks, long blond hair and stylish wardrobe as for his political ambition – is getting back on the horse. This time, however, it’s on the Central Coast and in a race for Congress. Woody’s hair is shorter (somewhat) now, and darker than it used to be, but the ambition apparently hasn’t diminished.

Woody, a Republican who is a civil engineer and contractor, plans to announce his candidacy Saturday in Morro Bay for the 24th Congressional District seat. He hopes to take on the Democratic incumbent, Rep. Salud Carbajal, who was first elected to Congress in 2016.

The 24th district includes San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties and part of Ventura County. Woody lives in Morro Bay.

Woody is touting not only his Fresno City Council experience and his master’s in public administration from Harvard University, but also his family’s long history, on his mother’s side, on the coast as well as his heritage as a member of San Luis Obispo County’s Salinan tribe of American Indians.

“It’s all about protecting our farmers, our oceans and our environment,” Woody said in a statement. “My heritage and ties to this region give me both purpose and meaning.”

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