An attorney who works as the lead investigator for the US House of Representatives committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot will leave the post as he is asked to run as an independent for a seat in the US Senate from Missouri.
John F. Wood’s resignation takes effect Friday. The resignation was confirmed on Wednesday by Steve Crim, a political adviser who works with the Group formed to support Wood as a Senate candidate, johnwoodformo.org.
Crim said Wood has not declared a Senate nomination but is exploring the possibility.
“We are heartened by John’s decision to step down from the selection board on Friday, as an important next step in providing a principled, sound choice to Missouri residents this November,” Crim said in a statement.
The committee launched a website Monday urging Wood to run for GOP Sen. Roy Blunt’s seat. The website called Wood a “principled leader who has put the country 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 Gov. Eric Greitens, released a campaign video shows him wielding a shotgun and explains that he hunts RINOs, which stands for Republicans in Name Only. The ad’s violent imagery was heavily criticized, including by some conservatives, although Greitens claimed it was meant to be humorous. Facebook removed the ad.
Former Republican US Senator John Danforth of suburban St. Louis has also urged Wood to run as a right-wing independent. Wood once worked for Danforth’s employees.
Wood, 52, was the US Attorney for the Western District of Missouri from 2007 to 2009 and before that held key positions in the George W. Bush administration. He was serving as General Counsel for the US Chamber of Commerce when he resigned in September to become Senior Investigation Counsel for the January 6 Committee.
Republicans are skeptical about a third-party bid in Missouri, but some conceded there is no backup plan if Greitens wins the primary.
Danforth plans to contribute $5 million from its political action committee to support a campaign and is trying to “raise significantly more to build on this donation,” a person familiar with Danforth’s decision told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The person was not authorized to speak on behalf of Danforth and confirmed the amount on condition of anonymity.
To vote as an independent in November’s election, Wood would have until August 1 to submit petitions signed by 10,000 registered voters.
21 Republicans are running in the August primary. Despite everything, Greitens is considered the front runner resign as governor in 2018 amid an investigation into whether he used a compromising photo to blackmail a woman into not talking about her extramarital affair.
Many Republican leaders fears Greitens could win the nomination but lose to a Democrat in November, which could cede a secure Republican Senate seat in an election where control of the Senate is at stake.
Other GOP contenders include Attorney General Eric Schmitt, U.S. Reps. 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 strong supporters of former President Donald Trump, who has yet to endorse a candidate for the race.
Leading Democratic contenders include former Marine Lucas Kunce and Trudy Busch Valentine, who is part of the Busch Brewing family.
AP journalists Lisa Mascaro in Washington, DC and Tom Beaumont in Des Moines, Iowa contributed to this report.
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https://www.local10.com/news/politics/2022/06/22/lawyer-leaving-16-panel-amid-talk-of-missouri-senate-run/ Attorney exits 1/6 panel amid talks over Missouri Senate run