A North Forsyth High School and the University of North Georgia graduate will soon take office just outside of St. Louis.
Mike Wood, a 2001 graduate of North Forsyth High School, is set to be the next prosecuting attorney, which he said serves the same role as a district attorney, in Lincoln County, Missouri, after recently winning the Republican nomination for the seat with no Democratic opposition.
“The honest truth is now you feel a sense of responsibility to all those people who put their faith into you to go in, make the changes, provide adequate leadership and be the responsible prosecutor that they deserve and that they wanted,” Wood said. “It’s a huge burden, as well, in a good way.”
Wood graduated from UNG, then called North Georgia College and State University, in 2004 and interned locally with the law firm Banks, Stubbs, Neville and Cunat before attending law school at the University of Tulsa. Wood said that being class president in law school was the only elected position he held or ran for before this year’s race.
After earning his law degree, Wood served as assistant prosecutor in Lincoln County, located about an hour up I-64 from St. Louis and nearby St. Charles County.
Wood handily won the Republican primary in August by a margin of 7,819 votes to 2,761, about 74 percent to 26 percent of the vote.
He said locals were particularly interested in the election after the murder of Betsy Faria, which resulted in her husband being charged in the murder by Wood’s predecessor before being cleared in a retrial. Wood said the probable killer may have committed two more murders in that time.
“Here locally, the voting base was really upset about how that entire case was mishandled,” he said. “As a former prosecutor here and in another county, that was the point we really hammered: ‘We deserve a competent leadership here locally.’”
When asked if he had any advice for current students about their future career plans, Wood advised them to take some time to figure it out.
“When I was in college, it still took you a long time to decide what you were passionate about,” he said. “So, even kids that are going to college in your first or second year of college, if you don’t have it figured out, you’ll end up getting there. You’ll find what you’re passionate about, and once you find it, just keep going with it.”