Trump has already approved of McKissick, who went so far as to cancel the state’s 2020 presidential primary when the president was running for re-election. But in Wood’s narrative, it was he who wore the real Trump cloak, struggling to reverse the Georgia election results, while McKissick did too little to add his voice to the “stop the steal” movement.
A supporter of the QAnon conspiracy theory, Wood claims that Trump won the election by landslide and is still president. Wood speaks without notes in a style that combines the skills of a preacher and an accomplished litigator. He first became famous as an attorney for JonBenét Ramsey’s family and also for Richard Jewell, who was falsely accused of bombing the Atlanta Olympics. built a candidacy for his support for Trump, which Wood backed in 2016 because he thought the chaos was good for the country.
“We need chaos in the Republican Party in South Carolina. Someone has to shake it up, ”Wood said Tuesday in Aiken town to applaud and laugh. “So here I am, Mr. Shaker.”
The day before, Wood had molested McKissick during a speech at a GOP event in Hampton County, suggesting that the incumbent didn’t care to stop pedophiles. The two then had a face-to-face confrontation in which McKissick attacked Wood for making vague allegations of “Chinese pornography”. Inevitably, the Chairman’s supporters describe Wood as disturbed, indicating that the Georgia Bar is investigating his behavior and wants Wood to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
The spiciness especially boiled over in Greenville County, the state’s largest Republican stronghold, earlier this month. Pro Wood activists wore “Stop the Steal” signs and accused outgoing GOP chairman of the county, Nate Leupp, of rigging the local party election when they opened the local party office and Leupp’s place of work, a Christian music store called Majesty Music , clean up.
“There’s a lot going on in South Carolina,” said Leupp, dismissing the wood-backing activists as “pitchforks and torches.”
“All politicians are buzzing with the same question: what on earth is going on in South Carolina? You just can’t make this up, ”he said. “Great people use a national narrative about Trump to their own advantage.”
The Greenville County GOP came up with mixed results when it held its county convention on April 13th. The county party chose a list of new leaders, but did not choose two of the men most responsible for recruiting Wood to run for state party chairman Jeff Davis and Pressley Stutts.
Stutts borrowed a turnaround from Trump and denied the result. He told the Greenville News that he was not “buying” election results that were electronically tabulated in the virtual convention.
However, due to the organizational efforts of Stutts and Davis, an overwhelming number of the 79 delegates elected by the Greenville GOP chose to send Wood to the May 15th State Party meeting.
A total of 870 delegates will vote for a new presidency at the State Congress. McKissick supporters believe he is way ahead in the delegate count over Wood, largely due to the chairman’s long-standing party ties, Wood’s late start, and lack of deep ties in South Carolina. McKissick also directed great hits for the party in 2020.
Concerned about the spread of Covid and the inability to find a suitable venue in the state capital of Colombia, the GOP decided on Wednesday that it will not hold a single large personal state assembly to elect the next presidency. Instead, the district parties meet in person, vote on paper votes on site or at regional meetings, and report the results to the state assembly, where the final results are publicly tabulated.
Wood’s supporters are already questioning the integrity of the electoral process. Davis accuses the party of “cheating” by manipulating the delegate process, an allegation that is denied by party officials. He said some party officials refused to obey party rules regarding the names and qualifications of delegates.
“People move here thinking South Carolina is a bastion of conservatism. No. We are a bastion of the RINO elite establishment that needs to be removed, ”said Davis. “They are afraid because this will obviously have an impact on the 2024 elections. In 2016, the establishment … did its damnest thing to stop Donald Trump. I don’t think the establishment wants another Donald Trump. South Carolina is south first. We have a huge influence on who the candidate will be. “
Davis forecast problems for former South Carolina GOP Governor Nikki Haley, who is considering a 2024 presidential bid but has earned the hostility of grassroots Conservatives who are dissatisfied with her after criticizing Trump.
Former State Party chairman Chad Connelly, a McKissick supporter, agreed with Davis’ remarks about South Carolina’s place in the GOP firmament, but said the election of Wood as chairman would create unnecessary problems for a party that is whites Wants to win back the house and keep the state red.
Connelly was referring to Wood and those who recruited him as “Kamikazes, Ner-do-Wells and the discontented”.
“You’re not Republicans. You are not conservative. They are anarchists, ”said Connelly, also describing Wood as an outsider. “I had clothes in the dry cleaner longer than Lin Wood lived in South Carolina.”
McKissick’s supporters also blame Wood for the Georgia GOP dispute and the party’s January 5 loss of two Senate seats. Wood and other pro-Trump activists had suggested boycotting the election because they believed Republicans Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue would not. not doing enough to challenge the November election results.
But former South Carolina Republican governor Mark Sanford said Republicans are shifting the blame from the root of the problem: Trump, his spread of conspiracy theories, and his destabilizing influence on the GOP as a whole.
Sanford wondered how Wood got a foothold against McKissick, who recently oversaw an election in which Republicans moved Congressional seats, sheriff races, and seats in the State House and Senate. Sanford, who posed a brief primary challenge to Trump in 2020, pointed out that McKissick canceled the 2020 GOP primary in the state and denied the state’s former governor the opportunity to have a forum to discuss traditional conservative issues such as national debt and having deficits.
“His candidacy is another manifestation of the Trump phenomenon. It’s crazy to varying degrees, a personality cult, ”Sanford said.
“What this really says is that the party is wrestling with its own Trump demons. It’s one version of Trump compared to another, more rabid version of Trump, but it’s all insane, “Sanford said. “The fact that Wood can run and have an appetite for a new man from another state who wasn’t part of GOP politics in South Carolina is unusual, but it fits the Trump era.”