THIS MAY BE THE FIRST REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE BUT, I PROMISE YOU IT WILL NOT BE THE “LAST”……PapaMike
Criticizing Donald Trump is considered a death sentence for Republican candidates. But Michael Wood’s betting that it will be his lifeline.
Wood is campaigning on an explicitly anti-Trump platform as he competes with 22 other candidates in a special election to fill the seat of the late Rep. Ron Wright (R-Texas), who represented a rapidly diversifying district in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburbs. Wood’s risky strategy centers on a belief there is a healthy slice of the GOP ready to move on from Trump after Jan. 6 — a proposition that will be tested at the ballot box next month.
Wood, a combat veteran and small business owner, has embraced his political identity as a Trump antagonist. He has publicly needled the former president on Twitter, recently declaring that “I’d rather fight for my country and the Constitution on a shoestring budget than kiss that man’s ring at Mar-a-Lago.”
The 34-year-old has also collected some high-profile yet polarizing allies in Washington, including GOP Reps. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) and Liz Cheney (Wyo.). Both voted to impeach Trump and have faced calls to be excommunicated from their own party. And Wood’s race, conducted in a so-called jungle-style format where candidates from all parties compete on one ballot, could be the first real bellwether of anti-Trump Republicans’ future success.
Should Wood prevail with his long-shot bid, he would offer a road map for other Republican candidates who want to distance themselves — and the party — from Trump. But if Wood fails, it could deliver a major blow to the wing of the GOP that’s desperate to turn the page on Trump and hoping to show its strength in the burgeoning battle over who should guide Republicans into the midterms and 2024.