John Wood, a Republican independent candidate in the US Senate race in Missouri, announced on Tuesday that he is withdrawing from the race.
Wood said on Twitter that he decided not to challenge Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Democratic candidate Trudy Busch Valentine in the race to replace retired U.S. Senator Roy Blunt.
Wood said he had significant differences with Schmitt and Valentine, but “it has become apparent that there is no realistic path to victory for me as an independent candidate.”
Wood, a lifelong Republican, former U.S. attorney and most recently a top investigator for the U.S. House committee examining the Jan. 6 riot, said he entered the race when the he disgraced former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens was the favorite for the Republican nomination.
He said it would have been “unacceptable” for Greitens to be the new senator from Missouri. Schmitt soundly beat Greitens in the Aug. 2 GOP primary.
Greitens resigned as governor four years ago after a sex scandal, two criminal charges that were eventually dropped and a legislative inquiry that could have led to impeachment hearings. This year, his ex-wife accused him of abuse.
Wood’s candidacy was backed by a political action committee headed by retired Republican Senator John Danforth, who spent millions on his campaign. His supporters saw him as a conservative alternative to GOP and Democratic candidates.
“I hope others seeking election will work to set aside the extremist rhetoric that divides our nation and begin the essential work of restoring public trust in our democratic institutions,” Wood said.