JEFFERSON CITY, MO. — Polls for Missouri’s primary will close Tuesday at 7 p.m., but the Independent candidate for U.S. Senate says the results won’t alter his campaign plan for November.
John Wood, a St. Louis native, is a former U.S. Attorney for Missouri’s Western District and most recently an investigator on the Jan. 6 committee. He is one step closer to finding his name on the November ballot to replace Sen. Roy Blunt after dropping off more than double the number of signatures needed Monday. Blunt is retiring at the end of his term.
“What people want is someone who is in the mainstream who is going to be a constructive leader and want to get things done for them,” said Wood. “There is a real thirst among Missouri voters for an alternative to the extremes and the divisiveness.”
Wood, who has previously said he has always been a Republican, dropped off more than 22,000 signed petitions to the secretary of state’s office Monday to make his bid official in the November general election.
“This is a unique opportunity where our country right now is more divided than it’s ever been in my lifetime and so there is a real desire for something different for somebody who can help unit us and help heal our country,” said Wood.
Under state law, Wood only had to submit 10,000 signatures by Aug 1, but he said with twice the number of petitions required, he is confident he will be on the November ballot. While he will not appear on Tuesday’s primary ballot, he is seeking to be the first Independent in Missouri history to win a statewide race.
“We have two parties that have become the Democratic Party dominated by the Bernie Sanders wing and the Republican Party being controlled by the Ted Cruz wing and nobody wants to sit down and talk to each other and get things done,” said Wood.
Wood said it didn’t matter who won Tuesday’s primary because he’s sticking around until the November election, no matter who is nominated.
“No matter who the nominees are, our message is still going to be the same which is one of helping heal our country, to unit Missourians, and to provide a commonsense mainstream conservative alternative,” said Wood.
Wood is being backed by a familiar name in Missouri politics, Sen. Jack Danforth. He has already contributed millions to Wood’s campaign on advertisements.
“I really want to model my time in the Senate after my former boss Sen. Jack Danforth,” said Wood. “He was a legend here in Missouri for a good reason because he is one of the people who are all too rare in politics who would put the good of the country first. I think this is a really unique opportunity for an Independent to win.”
The 52-year-old who now lives in Kansas City said Monday, that his job on the Jan. 6 committee shows his commitment as a senator.
“My work shows I put country ahead of the party and that serving the interests of the country has already been our priority and that’s why I’m in this race,” said Wood. “I want to be part of a governing coalition where we’re willing to compromise without sacrificing our principles in order to get things done and make the U.S. Senate work for the American people again.”
Throughout the month of August, the secretary of state’s office will verify the signatures Wood dropped off Monday. He only needs 10,000 valid petitions to get on the November ballot.