McKissick Defeats Pro-Trump Lawyer Lin Wood in Race for Head of South Carolina GOP

McKissick received Trump's endorsement
By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
May 15, 2021 Updated: May 16, 2021

Pro-Trump attorney Lin Wood failed in his bid to become chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, losing to incumbent Drew McKissick.

The chairman won a third term with 68 percent of the vote. Wood drew the second-most votes, collecting 239 to McKissick’s 582, the state GOP said on May 15. The two other challengers received just 37 votes combined.

“Thanks to the grassroots activists across the state, the SCGOP is stronger than it’s ever been,” McKissick said in a statement. “We’ve proven we have a winning coalition of conservatives who are committed to beating Democrats, and I’m honored they’ve chosen to reelect me to lead that fight.”

While Wood congratulated McKissick, he said the win came “in an establishment-created election.”

“I won We The People. Drew will learn in time that ALL the power belongs to We The People,” he wrote on Telegram.

Lin Wood
Lin Wood, a candidate for chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, speaks to attendees of the Richland County GOP convention in Columbia, S.C., on April 30, 2021. (Meg Kinnard/AP Photo)

Wood moved to South Carolina in 2020 from Georgia before launching his bid to unseat McKissick. He said in an earlier statement that he was seeking to oust McKissick after the chairman removed the person in charge of Horry County’s Republican Party and installed a different person.

Trump, though, endorsed McKissick, passing over Wood despite the attorney having filed several post-election lawsuits with the goal of overturning the results in Trump’s favor.

Trump cited the South Carolina GOP’s success in 2020, with victories on the state and federal level, and said McKissick “fought all the way to the Supreme Court to defend our voting laws—and WON.”

Under McKissick’s leadership, party membership has increased by about 300 percent since 2017.

Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.