An attorney who served as a senior investigator for the US House Committee investigating the January 6 uprising will step down amid calls urging him to run for the Missouri US Senate seat as an independent.
John F. Wood’s resignation is effective Friday. The resignation was confirmed Wednesday by Steve Krim, a political adviser working with the group formed to support Wood as a Senate candidate, johnwoodformo.org.
Krim said Wood has not announced running for the Senate, but is exploring the possibility.
“We are encouraged by John’s decision to leave the selection committee on Friday as an important next step in providing Missourians a theoretical, common-sense alternative this November,” Krim said in a statement.
The committee launched a website Monday urging Wood to run for the seat of retired GOP Sen. Roy Blunt. The website called Wood a “principled leader” who has put the nation above the party, when the stakes are highest, and is committed to serving the people of our state with integrity.
The launch came on the same day that a leading Republican candidate, former Governor Eric Grettens, released a campaign video showing him brandishing a firearm and announcing that he was hunting RINO, which is a Republican in name only. is for. The violent imagery of the ad drew strong criticism, including from some conservatives, although Grittens argued that it was intended to be humorous. Facebook removed the ad.
John Danforth, a former Republican from suburban St. Louis, has also urged Wood to run as a right-wing independent. Wood once worked for Danforth’s employees.
Wood, 52, served as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri from 2007 to 2009 and previously played a key role in the George W. Bush administration. He was working as general counsel for the US Chamber of Commerce when he stepped down in September to become senior investigative counsel for the January 6 committee.
Republicans are skeptical of a third-party bid in Missouri, but some have acknowledged there is no backup plan if Greetens wins the primary.
Danforth plans to contribute $5 million from its Political Action Committee to advertise in support of a campaign and “to build on that donation,” a person familiar with Danforth’s decision told the Associated Press on Wednesday. raising more”. The person was not authorized to speak on Danforth’s behalf and confirmed the amount on condition of anonymity.
To appear on November’s ballot as an independent, Wood must submit petitions signed by 10,000 registered voters by August 1.
Twenty-one Republicans are competing in the August primary election. Grittens is believed to be at the forefront, despite resigning as governor in 2018, amid an investigation into whether he used a compromising photo to blackmail a woman from speaking about his extramarital affair .
Many Republican leaders fear Greetens may win the nomination, but lost to Democrats in November, securing what should be a Republican Senate seat in an election where Senate control is on the line.
Among other GOP contenders, Attorney General Eric Schmidt, US Reps. Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long, Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz and St. Louis Attorney Mark McCloskey. Schatz is positioning himself as a “Reagan Republican.” Others are strong supporters of former President Donald Trump, who has yet to endorse a candidate in the race.
Prominent Democratic contenders include former Marines Lucas Koons and Trudy Bush Valentine, part of the Bush brewery family.
AP journalist Lisa Mascaro in Washington, DC and Tom Beaumont in Des Moines, Iowa contributed to this report.