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.

Wood, an attorney working as a senior investigator for the U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, announced his resignation to run for the U.S. Senate seat that will be vacated by Sen. Roy Blunt’s retirement.

The 52-year-old served as U.S. attorney for Missouri’s Western District from 2007 to 2009 and prior to that held key roles in the George W. Bush administration. He was working as general counsel for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce when he stepped down in September to become senior investigative counsel for the Jan. 6 committee.

Along with the campaign announcement, Wood said he has always been a Republican but is running as 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.

“Missouri voters deserve better than the divisive, extreme choices they are being given by the two major parties in this race. I am conservative and a life-long Republican. But the primaries for both parties have become a race to the bottom. This was evident a few days ago when the leading candidate for one of the parties released a campaign advertisement glorifying violence against his political enemies, from his own party no less,” Wood said.

Wood is endorsed by political leaders such as former Senator John Danforth.

“John is a very serious person who would be a uniter and would be very good at working across the aisle and trying to be a serious legislator instead of just somebody putting out press releases about how angry he
is, which is the current style in politics,” Danforth said.

To get on the November ballot as an independent, Wood would need to submit petitions signed by 10,000 registered voters by Aug. 1

A total of 21 Republicans are on the ballot for Missouri’s August primary election.

An exclusive FOX4 poll done in conjunction with Emerson College and “The Hill” earlier this month showed former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens is leading the way for the Republican nomination. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is about six points behind in second place with U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler ten points behind Greitens in third, according to the poll.

Other GOP contenders 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.