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Seeking to Lead GOP, Lin Wood Slams SC’s Top Republicans | Political News

By MEG KINNARD, Associated Press

Lin Wood, the pro-Trump attorney seeking a GOP leadership role in South Carolina, took on two of the state’s most notable Republicans on Tuesday and newly questioned the level of support of the party chairman for former President Donald Trump.

A Georgia attorney who falsely insists Trump won November’s election, Wood is challenging incumbent Drew McKissick for the chairmanship of South Carolina’s Republican Party. Now finishing his second term, McKissick leads a party that last year expanded its grip on the Legislature, won back a congressional seat and helped GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham win a fourth term.

Wood, in newly embracing South Carolina as his home base, is seeking the mantle of leadership among Republicans and taking the offensive against established Republicans, including Graham and former Gov. Nikki Haley, an ex-U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under Trump.

“This party doesn’t belong to Lindsey Graham, I don’t care how long he’s been senator. Get him out of Washington, D.C.,” Wood told a crowd in Greenville. “And then when you get Lindsey Graham out of Washington, D.C., tell Lindsey Graham to put up a sign that says, ‘Nikki Haley, don’t go there.’ She’s not a Republican, either.”

The contest over leading the state’s GOP has become a debate over whose loyalty to the former president is greatest. Trump’s 2016 primary victory in South Carolina marked a turning point in solidifying his nomination, and support for him in the state has remained high.

Trump endorsed McKissick in February, saying he had done a “great job” leading the party in the state, which is crucial in the nominating process as home to the first-in-the-South presidential primaries. Last week, Trump doubled down after reports of Wood’s interest in the post surfaced, issuing a news release further praising McKissick while making no reference to Wood.

In the past, Trump praised Wood as doing a “good job” filing legal challenges claiming 2020 election voter fraud, though Trump’s campaign has at times distanced itself from him, and courts rejected dozens of lawsuits making such allegations.

On Tuesday, Wood questioned the timing of Trump’s endorsement but said his support for the former president remains steadfast.

“If Donald Trump endorsed Mr. McKissick, I still love Donald Trump,” Wood said. “Nothing’s going to change my mind about a man who I believe is doing God’s will for this country.”

McKissick told The Associated Press he’s certain Trump’s backing is solid. He said that, during a phone call in which the former president asked about Wood, Trump “was like, ‘Who’s this attorney guy who is running against you? Does he even live in South Carolina?’”

New to South Carolina, Wood over the past year has purchased three plantations totaling more than $16 million in Beaufort County, a coastal area south of Charleston. Last month, Georgia officials opened an investigation following…

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