Former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods, a stalwart critic of Donald Trump who was known for his friendship with anti-Trump standard-bearer John McCain and who eventually left the Republican Party in protest of Trump, has died. He was 67.
“Grant was the love of my life. My best friend. My heart is broken,” his wife, Marlene Galan Woods, said, according to Arizona’s 12 News. “I just cannot believe he is gone.”
A big name in Arizona
According to the Daily Mail, Woods served as attorney general of Arizona from 1991 to 1999 and as a chief of staff to the late Senator McCain when he was a U.S. representative in the 1980s. When McCain died of brain cancer in 2018, Woods delivered a eulogy along with Joe Biden.
Like McCain, a failed presidential candidate who Trump disparaged in life (and death), Woods became known later in life for his opposition to Trump, whose shocking victory in the 2016 presidential election prompted an exodus of moderate Republicans from the GOP.
Woods’ opposition to Trump led him to endorse Hillary Clinton in 2016 as one of the “most qualified nominees to ever run for president.” He eventually joined the Democratic Party in 2018 because of Trump, 12 News reported, and he endorsed Biden in the 2020 presidential election.
Toward the end of his life, Woods was a regular on cable news, where he continued to offer criticism of the GOP.
Lawmakers pay tribute
McCain’s widow Cindy was among those who paid tribute to Woods, who she called “one of [her] best friends.”
Grant Woods was one of my best friends. My only comfort is knowing is is laughing and joking with John now and watching over all of us. We will miss you so much Grant. God Bless! https://t.co/TnK1yofN5Z
— Cindy McCain (@cindymccain) October 24, 2021
Arizona’s Republican governor, Doug Ducey, also praised Woods, along with Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and others in Arizona politics.
“My deepest sympathies are with the family and loved ones of Grant Woods,” Ducey tweeted, according to the Daily Mail. “He was well-known in the Arizona community, including serving as Attorney General [and] as chief of staff to John McCain before moving on to private practice. Our prayers are with his wife Marlene [and five] children.”
Woods is survived by his wife and five children.