Graduates from Woodlake High School have accomplished some great things but none currently have a brighter future in politics than Amanda Renteria, WHS Class of 1992. Renteria was in the political spotlight throughout the 2016 presidential campaign as a top aide to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Amanda said shortly after the election of Donald Trump that she was disappointed with the results but after taking a break for family time she would continue her career in public service.
Like many Woodlake success stories, Amanda is the daughter of migrant farmworkers. Her parents still reside in Woodlake and often attend WHS sporting events.
Amanda received a scholarship to Stanford after graduating from Woodlake. She planned on playing collegiate softball but also made the women’s Cardinal basketball team as a walk-on.
Academically, she had a knack for history, political science, and civic administration, and after earning her BA (with a dual major in economics and political science) at Stanford, she completed an MBA at Harvard.
Throughout her professional career, she has been a highly sought staff member for elected officials and government agencies.
Until filing to run for governor in mid-February, Amanda was chief of operations for California’s Attorney General, Xavier Becerra. At 43, she has an impressive resume with state and national experience.
In Washington, D.C., she worked for Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), becoming the first Latina to serve as a Senate chief of staff.
In 2014, Amanda was the Democratic nominee for the House of Representatives from the 21st congressional district. She lost to incumbent Republican David Valadao but attracted national attention and raised more money in the district than any recent candidate.
With three months until the June 5 primary, Amanda faces an improbable task of garnering more votes than the other Democratic candidates, at least two who have been running for years. The Democratic field consists of Gavin Newsom, lieutenant governor; Antonio Villaraigosa,
former Los Angeles mayor; John Chiang, state treasurer; and Delaine Eastin, former state schools superintendent.
Allen Ishida, former District 1 county supervisor, had previously announced his intention to run on the Republican ticket for governor but never filed.
Amanda formerly lived in Sanger with her husband, Patrick Brannelly, while he was an instructor in the MBA program at Fresno State. The couple currently resides in Menlo Park with their two children.