Lawyer who quit Jan. 6 panel seeking U.S. Senate seat from Missouri

ST. LOUIS (AP) — An attorney who served in key positions in the George W. Bush administration and left his post last week as lead investigator for the U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Uprising said Wednesday he was running for a U.S. Senate seat from Missouri as an independent.

John F. Wood announced in a prepared statement that he was beginning to work to contest the November general election ballot to remove the seat of GOP Sen. Roy Blunt.

The announcement comes as some Republican leaders fear former Gov. Eric Greitens could win in a field of 21 candidates for the Republican nomination for the August 2 primary seat and then lose in November because of the scandals. sexual abuse and campaign finance that forced him out of office in 2018. Greitens also faces allegations of physical abuse from his ex-wife, which he has denied. With the Senate evenly divided, the GOP cannot afford to lose what would otherwise be a safe seat.

Those concerns intensified last week when Facebook removed a campaign video of Greitens that shows him brandishing a shotgun and saying he’s hunting RINOs, or Republicans in name only.

“I’m a lifelong conservative and Republican. But the primaries for both sides have become a race to the bottom,” Wood said in a prepared statement. “It was evident a few days ago when the lead candidate of one of the parties published a campaign advertisement glorifying violence against his political enemies, from his own party at that. Missouri deserves better. Missouri needs another option.

Wood, 52, served as a United States 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 working as general counsel for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce when he resigned in September to become senior investigative counsel for the Jan. 6 committee. He resigned from that position on Friday.

Former Republican U.S. Senator John Danforth urged Wood to run as a right-wing independent. Wood previously worked for Danforth staff.

Besides 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 rest are staunch supporters of former President Donald Trump, who has yet to endorse a candidate in the race.

Among the leading Democratic candidates are former Marine Lucas Kunce, who presents himself as a populist, and Trudy Busch Valentine, who is part of the Busch brewery family.

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