Former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods, a longtime Republican loyalist who changed his registration to Democratic in 2018 because of his frustration at the party’s direction and then-President Donald Trump, died Saturday.
His unexpected death at the age of 67 was announced by his wife, Marlene Galen Woods, though a public relations firm. A reason was not announced.
“Grant was the love of my life. My best friend. My heart is broken,” his wife said in a statement. “I can’t believe he’s gone.”
Woods had long been a part of Republican politics in the state and was a top aide of the late Sen. John McCain when he served as its first chief of staff in the 1980s. He gave a eulogy with now-President Joe Biden at McCain’s memorial service in Phoenix
He served as attorney general from 1991-1999, helping to negotiate a massive nationwide settlement with tobacco companies, which continues to help fund the state’s Medicaid program. The state has received more than $1 billion since the 1998 agreement.
After leaving office, he returned to private practice and was a highly successful civil litigator on antitrust, fraud, breach of contract and medical malpractice cases. He was also often seen as a special prosecutor in cases of public corruption and tried for murder.
Tributes poured in on Saturday night, beginning with Gov. Doug Ducey, who said, “Arizona honors his life and years of public service.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Marlene and five children,” Ducey said in a statement.
Woods grew up in metro Phoenix and graduated in 1976 from Occidental College with a degree in Phi Beta Kappa. He earned a law degree from Arizona State University in 1979.
Woods left the Republican Party shortly after McCain’s 2018 death, angered and disappointed by Trump’s treatment of his longtime friend and party directive. He considered a run for the US Senate in 2020 to try to remove then-Sen. Martha McSally and helped become a foil for Trump, but decided her status as a former Republican would be a liability in a crowded primary field. McSally eventually lost to Ab-Sen. Mark Kelly.
Democratic minority leader State Rep. Reginald Boulding said, “Grant Woods was an Arizona native who fought every day to make our state better. He devoted his life to public service and helping us when we needed it most.” Then he used to raise his voice continuously.”
In addition to his legal and political work, Woods has long been a fundraiser for charities. He founded the Mesa Boys & Girls Club, the Mesa Education Foundation, and the Mesa Arts Academy. He was also an aspiring playwright.
Apart from his wife, he has five children in his family. Services are pending.
“I am very proud of the man he was, the public servant, the lawyer for the layman, the lover of music and stories and sports,” said his wife, a former television news anchor. “He made me a better person. I can’t even fathom my life without him. But we are strong, and a close family and we will work hard to honor his life.”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk / Arizona