“It looks like right now the dividing line in our politics is going to be between those who tell the truth and those who engage in conspiracy theories. And that’s really unfortunate, ”Wood told CNN’s John Berman on“ New Day, ”adding that he is concerned about the leadership of the GOP. “It feels like, in many ways, we’ve stepped through a mirror, and those of us who are against insurgency and lying find ourselves turned into fringe candidates. It’s a sad commentary on the party. It’s a sad commentary on the country. ”
A Navy veteran and open critic of Trump, Wood finished ninth in the lead for the Congressional district seat that has been left without representation since the death of GOP Representative Ron Wright. Wood, who received around 3% of the vote, called on Republicans to reject the former president and stop pushing conspiracy theories like the 2020 election was stolen and QAnon. He was supported by Illinois Representative Adam Kinzinger, a Republican critic of Trump in Congress.
Republican Susan Wright, the Trump-endorsed widow of Ron Wright, will advance to a run-off with also Republican Jake Ellzey in a special election.
The loss of Wood is indicative of the firmness of Trump’s grip on the Republican Party as he plans to regain control in Washington and deal with the party’s continuing infighting over whether to side with it. former president or return to traditional party ideals.
“If you’re running for office and you’re elected to Congress, you’ve got to be prepared to lose it, you know, or you can’t do the job. I think a lot of people have their egos and all their personalities tied to being a Congressman. And all the advantages that come with it. I think they must be prepared to move away from it, ”he said. “And I think they have to think about not only the next election or the next news cycle, I think they have to think about the story. I think they need to think about how they’re going to be judged and, you know, what future generations are going to say about this moment. ”
CNN’s Ethan Cohen contributed to this report.