NewYou can listen to Fox News stories now!

Exclusive: John Wood, a former Jan. 6 committee investigator who is running as an independent in the Missouri Senate race, said he would run alongside Republicans if elected, hoping to unite residents in the state and across the country.

“I’m a lifelong Republican and a conservative, but both parties’ primaries have become a competition to see who can be the most divisive and the most extremist,” Wood said in an interview with Fox News Digital on Friday. “All the candidates on the Republican side still seem determined to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.”

Next week, Missouri will hold state primaries for both political parties. Both the Republican and Democratic primaries for Senate in the state are crowded with candidates, including former GOP front-runner Eric Greitens, who previously served as Missouri’s 56th governor from 2017 to 2018, before his resignation.

As an independent in the race, Wood’s name will appear on the November general election ballot.

Tables turn after Greitens, Hartzler take Schmitt’s GOP lead in Missouri Senate race

John Wood, the committee's investigative staff counsel, speaks during a House Select Committee hearing to investigate the June 16, 2022 attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

John Wood, the committee’s investigative staff counsel, speaks during a House Select Committee hearing to investigate the June 16, 2022 attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
(Olivier Daulieri/AFP via Getty Images)

Greitens’ position in the polls and his “chance to win [Republican] In next week’s primary election, Wood said he chose to “take a different path” with his candidacy in the race.

“I’m focused on trying to unite Americans and unite Missourians and help heal our country from the many divisions we’re facing right now because we’re more divided than we’ve ever been in my lifetime,” he said. “Of course I want to get things done in Washington… It looks like candidates from both parties are determined to go to Washington and tear things down.”

Wood said he’s getting a “positive reception” from voters in Missouri, who he says are happy to have someone “common sense conservative” in the race because he’s laser-focused on the economy and rising inflation.

If elected as an independent, and to receive committee assignments, Wood would be forced to caucus with Democrats or Republicans. Elected Independent Sens. Unlike Vermont’s Bernie Sanders and Maine’s Angus King, Wood said he would “meet with the Republicans.”

Three top contenders in Missouri Senate race vow to oppose McConnell as majority leader

Some Democrats in the state expressed concern that Wood’s candidacy in the race would negatively affect their preferred candidate’s chances of winning the election. Wood dismissed the concern, arguing that Republicans are saying the same thing and that he is “in this race to win.”

John Wood, the committee's investigative staff counsel, questions witnesses during a House Select Committee hearing to investigate the June 16, 2022 attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

John Wood, the committee’s investigative staff counsel, questions witnesses during a House Select Committee hearing to investigate the June 16, 2022 attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
(Olivier Daulieri/AFP via Getty Images)

“I’ve also heard Republicans say that I can take votes away from the Republican nominee, so I’m really concerned about trying to get enough votes to win, not who I can get the most votes from,” he said. “I’m in this race to win… I’m not worried about who I get the most votes from. I’m worried about getting enough to make sure I beat both the Republican and the Democrat.”

Asked about recent hearings by the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol protests, as well as how the committee’s findings could affect the Missouri Senate race, Wood said he was “not really sure” and confirmed that the hearings had been provided. Americans had a chance to hear “what happened” that day.

“I think the hearings are very important in terms of letting the American people know what happened on January 6th and how to prevent something like that from happening again,” he said. “But it’s hard to say how they’ll affect race. I’m not really sure, but I think this is an opportunity for people to see that I put my country before my political party and I always go. To put the country first.”

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks to reporters on May 12, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington.

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks to reporters on May 12, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington.
(AP Photo/Manuel Bals Seneta)

Jan. of nine House members, including seven Democrats and two Republicans. 6 Rep. as Vice Chairman of the Committee. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., will face a Trump-backed candidate in a tough Aug. 16 election. Primary Election in Wyoming.

Click here to get the Fox News app

Wood, even during his time as an investigator for the committee, shared a friendship with Cheney family members and said he was “honored” to receive an endorsement from Cheney, who faced backlash over his criticism and voted to impeach the former president. Donald Trump.

“I would be honored to have her endorsement,” he said. “She said so many positive things about me that we got on the website. I’m honored to work for her.”