Jimmy Wood, a Summerville military veteran and businessman, is the latest candidate to jump in the 1st Congressional District race, but unlike most others, he won't be on the primary ballot in June.
That's because Wood is running as an Independence Party candidate, and party director Wayne Griffin said Wednesday that Wood already has secured a spot on the Nov. 2 ballot.
"He's definitely going to be the nominee. He aligns with what we think," Griffin said, adding, "No one else expressed interest."
Wood said he considered running as an independent or petition candidate but decided that collecting the necessary 15,000 signatures would be too tall a task. Around August, he contacted Griffin.
Wood described himself as "extremely conservative," and he said he sees the tea party movement as his natural base.
"I think the question I'm most going to get is, 'Why aren't you running as a Republican?' ... I think the two-party system is on the verge of being corrupt."
The field of GOP candidates has grown since Republican Rep. Henry Brown announced that he would not seek re-election.
Wood, 37, is an executive vice president with Threat Management Group, a military contractor in Goose Creek. Wood said he plans to talk about the fiscal irresponsibility of the federal government and unemployment. If elected, he vowed to serve no more than two terms.
Seven Republicans have announced: Isle of Palms City Councilman Ryan Buckhannon, Charleston businessman Tumpy Campbell, GOP activist Katherine Jenerette of North Myrtle Beach, former Charleston County School Board member Larry Kobrovsky, state Rep. Tim Scott, Charleston County Councilman Paul Thurmond, and former Brown aide Stovall Witte.
Democratic candidates are commercial pilot Robert Burton of Mount Pleasant, businessman Robert Dobbs of Georgetown and retired accountant Dick Withington of Horry County.
Asked about how he would respond to those who say he has no chance as a third-party candidate, Wood replied, "I love the Bible story of David and Goliath."