ST. LOUIS (AP) — A lawyer who played a key role in the George W. Bush administration and who left his position as senior researcher last week before the US House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurgency, said Wednesday that he is running for a seat in the Missouri Senate in the US as an independent.
John F. Wood announced in a prepared statement that he is starting to run for the November general election for: retired GOP Sen. Roy Blunt’s chair†
The announcement comes as some Republican leaders voiced concern that former Governor Eric Greitens could triumph in a field of 21 Republican nominations for the seat in the Aug. 2 primaries, losing in November because of the sex and gender bias. campaign finance scandals that pushed him out of office in 2018. Greiten is also facing allegations of physical abuse from his ex-wife, which he has denied. With the Senate split evenly, the GOP cannot afford to lose what would otherwise be a safe seat.
Those concerns increased last week when Facebook removed a Greitens campaign video that shows him brandishing a shotgun and declaring that he hunts RINOs, or Republicans in name only.
“I am a conservative and a lifelong Republican. But the primaries for both parties have become a race to the bottom,” Wood said in a prepared statement. “That became apparent a few days ago when the leading candidate for one of the parties ran a campaign ad glorifying violence against his political enemies, no less of his own party. Missouri deserves better. Missouri needs another option.”
Wood, 52, served as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri from 2007 to 2009 and previously held a key role in the George W. Bush administration. He was working as a general counsel for the US Chamber of Commerce when he stepped down in September to become a senior research advisor for: the committee of January 6† He resigned from that position on Friday.
Former Republican US Senator John Danforth has urged Wood to act as a right-wing independent party. Wood once worked for the Danforth staff.
In addition to Greitens, other GOP candidates include Attorney General Eric Schmitt, U.S. Representatives Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long, Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz and St. Louis attorney Mark McCloskey. Schatz positions himself as a “Reagan Republican.” The others are staunch supporters of former President Donald Trump, who has not yet endorsed a candidate in the race.
Leading Democratic contenders include former Populist Marine Lucas Kunce and Trudy Busch Valentine, who is part of the Busch brewery family.