John Wood, Independent candidate for US Senate, speaks to KCTV5

FILE - John Wood, committee investigative staff counsel, for the House select committee...
FILE - John Wood, committee investigative staff counsel, for the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol hearing at the Capitol in Washington, June 16, 2022.(Susan Walsh | AP)
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 5:24 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - We are just one day away from Election Day.

One of the bigger races is the one for Missouri’s U.S. Senate seat. Now, come tomorrow, you’ll see a fifth candidate on the ballot.

John Wood, a lifelong Republican who is running as an Independent, turned in some 20,000 signatures this morning in order to make the ballot.

You’ve seen him as the senior investigator for the U.S. House committee probing the Jan. 6 attacks on the U.S. Capitol. Now, wood wants a seat in the capitol.

“I’m trying to unite people rather than divide us further,” he said.

Wood took a moment from the campaign trail to speak to KCTV5 via Zoom.

“I consider myself as conservative, but a common-sense conservative,” he said. “I’m looking to go to Washington to get things done and reach out across the aisle and see if there are areas of compromise where I can be part of the governing coalition.”

He’s backed by former Senator Jack Danforth, who controls the Missouri Stands United PAC. Danforth has spent millions on ads pushing for Wood and the need for a new path.

“The primaries between the two major parties have seem to become a race to the bottom to see who can be the most divisive and the most extreme,” Wood said.

Which, Wood says he’s not. He calls himself a mainstream conservative and someone who backs lower taxes, less government regulation and spending.

“I think inflation is, in large part, because of the excessive spending that we’re seeing and that’s because of Joe Biden and the Democrats,” he said.

He also believes in gun rights, the right to bear arms, and supports the overturning of Roe v. Wade. However, he says there should be exceptions.

“I do think we should have exceptions for cases such as rape, incest and protect life and serious health risks of the mother,” he said.

Since Wood launched his bid in June, his message seems to be resonating with voters.

“I’m getting great reception from Missouri voters,” he said. “I think, at this point, we’ve more than doubled the number of signatures we need in order to get on the ballot.”

However, when it comes to the ballot, political pundits call Wood the spoiler. They say he could take votes away from Republicans, giving Democrats a boost. Wood sees a different outcome, though.

“So, I’m probably going to draw from both candidates,” he said. “I don’t know which one I’ll hurt or help more than the other, but I’m in this to win it.”

In addition to being the former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, Wood has held several high-level positions at the Department of Justice and in the White House. That includes Chief of Staff for the Department of Homeland Security and Deputy Associate Attorney General.