Alan Woodruff plans to run next year as a Blue Dog Democrat for the congressional seat held by U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-1st.
“Everyone’s going to ask, ‘what the hell can you do as a freshman congressman,?’ ” Woodruff said during a visit to the Johnson City Press Wednesday. “Well, I can contribute to the debate. I’m just tired of us arguing about which political party runs this country. I’m just tired of it. I’m angry at politicians for who only vote the party line. It’s not just the Republicans. There is an extreme arm of the Democratic Party, but it’s not as controlling as the Republicans.”
Woodruff, who lives in Gray, said his number one priority is economic recovery and job creation.
“Every candidate for federal office will say that ‘jobs’ is their first priority,” he said. “But few of them will be able to identify specific action — other than simply reducing taxes — that they will advocate.”
He said millions of jobs go unfilled because workers lack the necessary skills to fill them. He mentioned Northeast State Community College and said there needs to be a “massive effort” to expand the nation’s system of vocational, occupational and continuing education.
“We’ve got to think long-term,” he said. “We need to build a regional school and operate it 24 hours a day. Let it do what Northeast State can’t do. We need to make the next generation prepared. Both for now, and for the future, we need a system of vocational and occupational education that eliminates the typical distinctions between school-based education and work force training — a method which makes job training, and retraining, an integral component of national economic policy.”
His credentials are impressive. Not because of the political offices he’s held, however.
Woodruff has practiced law for 20 years, specializing in taxation, business planning for closely held corporations, employee benefits and pension and welfare benefit plan litigation. He has a doctorate degree from Harvard University in administration, a law degree from Florida State University, a master’s degree from the University of Washington in taxation and has studied economics and finance at the University of Maryland — not to mention several other academic degrees.
He also has authored or co-authored more than 100 books, including three novels. He has testified before Congress on federal spending on vocational education and serves as a consultant to various government agencies.
Roe, the former Johnson City mayor, promised when he won the House seat for the first time in 2008 that he would serve only five, two-year terms. A win in 2012 would give him his third term
Woodruff called Roe an intelligent man but ...
“But as a politician, he a disappointment,” Woodruff said. “He pledged not to take any PAC (political action committee) money. But look it up — it’s all over the place. The people I talk to, the more they say he’s just a straight tea partier. I think he’s gotten ‘Potomac Fever.’ I don’t agree with the Tea Party’s agenda, But I agree with what they’re doing. They’re active. They’re voters. They’re paying attention to what’s going on.”
To learn more about the candidates’ views, go to www.alanwoodruff.com.