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- Political activists want attorney John Wood to run for retiring Sen. Roy Blunt’s open seat.
- A pro-Wood group says Missouri voters “deserve an alternative option” to the 31 others running.
- Wood is a lead GOP investigator on the House investigation into the January 6 riot.
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John Wood, the George W. Bush administration alumnus currently piecing together evidence for the January 6 select committee’s investigation into the siege at the US Capitol, is Missouri’s best shot at a “principled, traditional conservative choice for the United States Senate this year,” according to a political group urging him to run.
The John Wood for Missouri campaign, which sees Wood as the center-right candidate who should replace retiring Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, worked to make that happen on Monday by publicly calling on Wood to enter the Show-Me state’s crowded Senate race, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
“Respected leaders across the state of Missouri have made it clear that Missouri voters deserve an alternative option to the leading contenders for the Republican and Democratic nominations for U.S. Senate,” the nascent group said in a press release attempting to shake up the race. “We are encouraging John to answer that call, as he has done countless times over the course of his career in government.”
The recruiting effort dovetails with former Sen. Jack Danforth’s plan to ferret out an independent candidate of his own, a project overseen by his super PAC, Missouri Stands United. While staff said Danforth doesn’t know who is behind the John Wood for Missouri campaign, Danforth welcomed the news that Wood, who worked for him on Capitol Hill, is on the public’s radar.
“I’m excited to see that John’s name has been surfaced as a potential independent candidate for Senate here in Missouri,” Danforth wrote in an email, telling Insider that Wood “would be a great candidate and U.S. Senator.”
Wood did not respond to Insider’s request for comment about wading into the midterm elections.
Wood is currently serving as a senior investigative counsel to January 6 committee co-chair Liz Cheney of Wyoming. Wood’s Legistorm resume shows he’s also worked for then-Sen. Danforth in the early 1990s, clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Judge Michael Luttig, and Bush-era Attorney General John Ashcroft over the years.
Luttig testified on June 16 about Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election and warned lawmakers that the twice-impeached former president is brazenly scheming to rig the 2024 elections as well.
Nearly three dozen candidates are running for Missouri’s open seat, a field that will be winnowed down by the August 2 primary election.
GOP contenders include Republican Reps. Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long, state attorney general Eric Schmitt, and scandal-plagued former Gov. Eric Greitens — who stirred the pot Monday by releasing an ad in which he and other armed men bust into an empty house while hunting “Republicans in name only.” First-time candidate Trudy Busch Valentine, heiress to the Busch brewing empire, is one of 10 Democrats trying to turn the Senate delegation purple.
The winner would serve alongside 2024 presidential hopeful Josh Hawley.
The pro-Wood recruiting effort still has a ways to go, including formally registering with the Federal Election Commission and collecting the requisite number of signatures to get on the November ballot as a third-party candidate, the Post-Dispatch wrote.
But the group sounds undeterred.
“Over the coming days, we will work to draft John Wood into this race to provide Missourians that choice they deserve,” the John Wood for Missouri campaign said in its press release.