Regaining Your Life After Defeat

January 19, 2009


Virginia Woodward

Virginia Woodward is the current Executive Director of Boards and Commissions for Kentucky Governor, Steven Beshear.  Ms. Woodward is a former candidate who ran for the Kentucky Senate in 1994 and lost by 45 votes.  Virginia ran again for the Kentucky Senate in 2004 and lost a close race to a candidate who was proven (through a court challenge) to be ineligible for residing out of state.

Virginia Woodward was the type of candidate who put her entire being into her campaigns.  She was completely focused on winning but managed to keep the essence of herself so that she was prepared to accept the outcome, whatever it might be.  “I always felt I was called to leadership and needed to make a difference in our community and in the lives of others,” says Woodward.  “This is who I am and the campaign, although all consuming, did not define me as a person.”

Woodward adds that she has seen women who were destroyed by losing and not recover personally.  “There is more to running for office than crossing the winner’s line.  Just because you haven’t been selected as the winner, doesn’t mean you haven’t achieved anything,” says Woodward.  Woodward is a living testament to her advice.

Despite her disappointing political defeats, Virginia Woodward has become a strong advocate for women’s issues and electing female candidates.  She is the former executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Women, immediate past president of the Kentucky Women’s Political Caucus and current president of the Louisville Metro Women’s Network.  With her current position working for Kentucky’s Governor Steve Beshear, she has the ability to affect the appointments for women throughout Kentucky to the various boards and commissions under the Governor’s authority. 

As young women participate in sports, they will be competing more and will seek out the competition of the political world, Woodward believes.  Running for office is about the essence of self and a woman cannot handle the possibility of losing, then she should not get into politics.   Woodward states, “The more women run for office, the more women will win.  Not every person will cross the winners line but they have to try again or help someone else.”