KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s U.S. Senate race just became even more crowded.

John Wood announced his intent to run as an Independent in the November 8, 2022, election.

Along with the campaign announcement, Wood said he has always been a Republican, but is running an an Independent to provide voters with a “common sense, conservative candidate” for Missouri’s Senate seat that will be vacated when Sen. Roy Blunt retires at the end of his term.

In an interview with FOX4 Wednesday, John Wood told us the country and the state are too divided, and he was not in favor of the ad Republican candidate and former Gov. Eric Greitens came out with where he was hunting RINOS, or Republicans in Name Only. That’s part of the reason he’s running to be a Missouri U.S. Senator.

“Yeah, I’m not running to be a spoiler in this race,” Wood said. “I’m in this race in order to win it.”

He said he plans to stay in this race until November, no matter who the Republican nominee is.

“But the fact that Eric Greitens has been leading in all the polls that I have seen, including the polls that came out after the domestic abuse allegations by his ex-wife is part of my decision making process of why I thought it was important for there to be an alternative to Eric Greitens or a Democrat who won’t represent the views and values of Missouri voters,” Wood continued.

Wood was an attorney working as a senior investigator for the U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. He called his time in that role a great honor. 

“But Senator Danforth called for a Republican running as an Independent to get into this race,” Wood said Wednesday in reference to former Missouri Republican U.S. Senator Jack Danforth.

Wood said his first boss after college was Danforth himself.

“My view of our state today is that Democrats have no real chance,” Danforth said in an interview with FOX4 Wednesday. “I don’t think they’ve got a prayer.”

Danforth feels that way with Wood getting into the Missouri U.S. Senate race. Danforth says he’s going to contribute $5 million to his political action committee Missouri Stands United to support Wood. 

“I just feel so strongly about it ya know?” Danforth continued. “I’ve spent so much of my life in politics, and it has turned so terrible, and I really feel that I have to do this.”

Wood says he’s just now become a Missouri resident again because he was living in the Washington D.C. area. The move to run for the seat drew criticism from Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.

“There are 6 million people in Missouri and they couldn’t at least drum up one who lived here last week in the independent run for Senate?” Lucas said in a tweet Wednesday.

“I recognize that the fact that I’ve recently been living in the Washington D.C. area will be something that people will criticize me for,” Wood said in response to the residency question Wednesday. “But if you look at the issues that are at stake in this race, I think there are a lot more important issues that are on voters’ minds than that.”

Wood said he’ll be living in the Kansas City area near the Country Club Plaza. He’ll be in Kansas City Thursday. 

Other GOP contenders besides Greitens include U.S. Rep. Billy Long, Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz and St. Louis attorney Mark McCloskey.

Leading Democratic contenders include former Marine Lucas Kunce and Trudy Busch Valentine, who is part of the Busch brewery family.

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