There exist two frameworks in which to look at how fields and interactions appear:
a) when talking of elementary particles and their interactions it is the quantum mechanical framework; this is the underlying framework from which emerges
b) the classical mechanics and electrodynamics framework. The classical emerges smoothly in a computable way.
An anode is a large dimensional item, and belongs to the classical framework. The enormous number of individual atoms that make up this solid are reordered in the collective fields imposed, so that the positive charge of the nuclei predominates and in their zillions create a classical positive electric field in the anode.
Electrons can be viewed within both frameworks, statistically in this case. The current in a circuit is generated by the small drifts of individual electrons within the conductor. The path of least resistance comes out from the statistical way one can explain this, still within a classical framework, and this integrates over the forces the electrons see when they drift..
To start talking of virtual photon exchanges one has to go to an individual electron interacting with an individual atom, i.e. write a Feynman diagram which is the only place that virtual photons exist: they are a mathematical tool in the computation of the probability of the electron interacting with the atom's spill over positive field.
The zillions of Feynman diagrams needed if one tried to treat the motion of the electron towards the anode ( the surface has zillions of atoms) in the quantum mechanical framework, are a futile effort, since we know that the classical treatment emerges mathematically from the quantum one, is simpler and sufficient.
as far as the title:
Do anodes emit virtual photons representing their positive electrostatic potential?
The answer is "yes" if you are willing to model what happens with Feynman diagrams, as I stated above.