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John F. Wood
John Wood speaks at a hearing for the House Select Committee Investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol on June 16 in Washington, D.C.Susan Walsh / AP file

Independent John Wood drops Missouri Senate bid

Wood tweeted that "there is not a realistic path to victory."


Independent John Wood ended his Missouri Senate campaign Tuesday, acknowledging he no longer saw a path to victory without controversial former Gov. Eric Greitens as the GOP nominee.

Greitens lost the GOP primary earlier this month to Attorney General Eric Schmitt. Wood, who had said he would caucus with Senate Republicans, initially said he would stay in the race. In an interview with NBC News the night of the Aug. 2 primary, Wood described Schmitt as "very extreme."

But on Tuesday Wood tweeted that he initially entered the race to block Greitens, suggesting Greitens' defeat in the primary meant Wood no longer saw a way to win the Senate race.

"While I think I could have beaten Eric Greitens, Missouri no longer faces the risk of Greitens as our next U.S. Senator," Wood tweeted. "While I have significant differences of opinion with both the Republican and Democratic nominees, it has become evident there is not a realistic path to victory for me as an independent candidate."

Wood did have support from an outside group known as Missouri Stands United, which is backed by former GOP Sen. Jack Danforth. The group has spent $450,000 since the Aug. 2 primary, according to the ad tracking firm AdImpact. Neither Schmitt or his Democratic opponent, Trudy Busch Valentine, have spent significant money on ads so far.