Grant Woods, the former chief of staff for the late Senator John McCain, and the former two-term attorney general is now a registered Democrat telling KTAR that President Trump and the divisive rhetoric of the GOP is what sparked his decision to make the switch.
“I feel the party left me, and again I was always willing to fight it out within the party,” Woods told KTAR’s "Think Tank."
Woods, saying he likes the direction the Democratic Party is heading and feels the Republican Party has moved away from the principles it once boasted.
But the news isn’t surprising to the former U.S. Attorney from Arizona Dennis Burke.
“I think he’s very comfortable with the direction the Democratic Party is going and he’s disillusioned by the Republican Party,” Burke said.
Burke adds, the switch bodes good news for Democrats saying Woods has proven to be an independent voice who has supported both Democrats and Republicans in the past.
In the 2018 mid-term elections Woods went up to bat for Democratic Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema for Senate and Democrat Dr. Hiral Tipirneni who was running in District 8 against Republican Rep. Debbie Lesko.
Burke says Woods is likely setting himself up for a run for Senator McCain’s seat in 2020 and believes Woods could even sway moderate Republicans to look to him as an example to stick with principle instead of party.
“He’ll be a strong candidate, he’s a very good campaigner, he’s an excellent public speaker…he can convey his position extremely well to voters, he’s got a strong background, he’ll be very popular among Democrats and obviously even Republicans,” Burke added.
Senator Jon Kyl who stepped in to fill in Senator McCain’s seat after his death at the request of Governor Doug Ducey, has said he would only serve until January 2019.
Governor Ducey would then have to appoint another Republican to finish out the rest of McCain’s term which goes until 2020. At that point, that appointee would have to re-run for the seat in a special election.
It has been speculated Governor Ducey could appoint Rep. Martha McSally to the seat should Democrat Kyrsten Sinema defeat her in the 2018 election. Both are running to fill Senator Jeff Flake’s seat who did not seek re-election. Sinema currently leads with more than 32,000 votes with 160,000 more votes left to count in Maricopa County.
Burke suspects Woods running as a Democrat would make him a tough candidate to beat should he run for Senate in 2020.