Woody Alspaugh (1943-2013) ran for mayor

Woody Alspaugh, who came out of left field to run unsuccessfully for mayor of Stockton in 2008, died Jan. 22 of as-yet unreported causes. He was 70.

Woody Alspaugh speaks at a 2008 mayoral debate. At right, candidate Steve Gutierrez.

The coroner is investigating the cause of Alspaugh’s death. Coroners investigate when the cause is unnatural or a doctor cannot say the cause of death with medical certainty.

A disabled longshoreman, Alspaugh ran for mayor because, as he put it on his odd web page,  he believed City Hall was run by ”greedy, ignorant, egotistical narcissistic, corrupt public officials.”

But Alspaugh himself had no government experience, no aptitude for public administration, a way-too-crusty temperment and neither any campaign financing nor organization.

“He means well but just won’t do well,” the editorialist wrote, in a sterling example of journalistic plain speaking.

Here is the near-fiasco that ensued when Alspaugh failed to RSVP in time for a televised mayoral debate but showed up anyway and stubbornly refused to leave the set.

Here is video of Alspaugh answering questions before the editorial board. He was asked five questions. Given the importance, it speaks volumes about Alspaugh’s candidacy that his answer to two out of the five was “I have no idea.” 

In his own way, though, Alspaugh cared about the city and the Delta. Unlike many Stocktonians, he was engaged and wanted to help improve things. Stockton could use more citizens as passionate about civic affairs as he was.

Services have not been scheduled.




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    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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