COLUMBIA — Lin Wood, the attorney who pushed baseless fraud claims in support of President Donald Trump after the 2020 election, is running for chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party against an incumbent who has already scored Trump’s endorsement.
The decision by Wood, confirmed in a March 29 email to The Post and Courier, comes just months after he moved to the Palmetto State from neighboring Georgia. Wood is now registered to vote in Beaufort County.
“My decision to run for the office was heavily influenced by my well known desire to reform local and state political parties and return power to the people,” Wood said. “Here, I want to return power and control of the South Carolina Republican Party to the members of the party.”
Wood will be challenging incumbent chairman Drew McKissick, whom Trump endorsed with a hand-written note in February. The chairman is elected at the state party convention, which is currently slated for May, and counties will hold local conventions throughout April.
“You have my complete and total endorsement,” Trump wrote in the short note to McKissick. “Great job!”
In a statement responding to Wood’s announcement, McKissick said, “Any South Carolina Republican has the right to run for State Chairman and I welcome the challenge.”
“In the past four years we’ve brought record numbers of new conservative patriots into our Party who want to make a difference, and the result has been the greatest growth and electoral success in the history of the SCGOP,” said McKissick, who has led the state party since 2017.
Despite Trump’s national loss to Democrat Joe Biden, South Carolina Republicans are coming off one of their best election cycles in party history.
In addition to U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s double-digit reelection victory, the party also won back a Lowcountry congressional seat that they lost in 2018 and expanded their majorities in both the state House and Senate.
The greater GOP control in the Statehouse allowed the party to pass a strict abortion ban earlier this session after years of unsuccessfully trying. The measure has been blocked in federal court.
Wood first announced his intentions in a post late March 28 on the messaging app Telegram, writing that several “concerned South Carolina Republicans who are conservative Patriots approached me a few days ago to ask me if I just talked the talk or would I walk the walk.”
“They want to take back their Republican Party,” Wood wrote. “They want to return the power to the people — the members of the party. They have endured enough Rino Republicanism in the present leadership of the South Carolina GOP. They are demanding change.”
The Georgia state bar is investigating complaints against Wood and ordered him to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, a request that Wood said he refused, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is also reportedly investigating whether Wood had already moved to South Carolina before the 2020 election and illegally voted in Georgia afterwards. Wood refuted those allegations, telling CNN that he did not change his residency to South Carolina until early February 2021.
Follow Jamie Lovegrove on Twitter @jslovegrove.