by BARBARA NIELSEN || Most of the readers of this blog are fairly well versed in South Carolina politics and many have worked hard through the years to build a successful S.C. Republican Party. This certainly showed in the unprecedented results achieved this year by the SCGOP leadership and lots of county members’ hard work. Now it is up to us to not just maintain our successes – but continue to grow them.
It may not be on everyone’s radar, but this year there is a race for the SCGOP Chairmanship. Internally it matters for the party delegates who vote for Chair but it is also extremely important for our entire state. More specifically, it impacts the direction of our state and those of us who have invested time and energy advancing conservative policy.
Drew McKissick, our current SCGOP Chair, is running for re-election. He is being challenged by Lin Wood who has only recently moved here after leaving the state of Georgia. There, he brought up issues of voter fraud in Georgia – and then turned around and stated on video that Republicans should stay home in the run-off for the US Senate. His actions clearly cost Republicans those two seats and we are all paying the price now.
Wood enjoys being a national celebrity but throughout his life in Georgia he is documented to have supported and contributed to mostly Democrats – including donating thousands of dollars to Barack Obama. He claims to be more MAGA than MAGA. Does that mean he is more MAGA than President Trump? He says those of us in South Carolina who have worked so hard do not pass the litmus test of being conservative or MAGA enough.
I am concerned to read many of the ugly and unproven accusations against Drew and the SCGOP that have been made with NO basis in fact. I am also concerned that Lin Wood has no known experience in Republican politics and has not worked, to my knowledge, in any South Carolina party activities – YET he has moved here and placed his name on the ballot to run for SCGOP Chair.
Maybe we should all ask ourselves – WHY?
We have a current Chairman, Drew McKissick, with a strong record of leadership and success. President Trump has strongly endorsed Drew not once but twice. Chairman Drew and his team built the most extensive ground game in South Carolina political history with over 250 paid workers, knocked on over 650,000 doors and made over 1 million phone calls in the 2020 cycle. His work flipped three SC Senate seats, two SC House seats, gained sheriff seats and flipped SC Congressional District 1 back to red.
He defended against some $150 million spent against Senator Lindsey Graham and and delivered the highest number of votes for a presidential nominee in state history. Most importantly he helped us win in the U.S. Supreme Court upholding our election laws. He has a documented record of success and well-known conservative principles. These political successes would not have happened without Drew’s strong leadership.
The decision here is easy. This is an election for a STATE party leader – not a leader of a national movement. It is not about which of us is more patriotic, more conservative, more MAGA or who can shout the loudest. We should not allow ourselves to be separated by calling people establishment or elite. There will always be differences on how to get things done, but in the end, we are FAMILY. We have worked too hard on building our party. There is too much at stake to divide us. I would hope that there are not people whose goal it is to divide and conquer just to be in control, but based on what I can tell, that surely appears to be the case here.
I am asking you to ask yourselves these questions:
Why would we elect a SCGOP Chairman with no known history in Republican or South Carolina politics much less any experience in the detailed leadership necessary for a state party?
Why would we want to dismantle the present leadership that has the experience and proven leadership that brought us our recent successes?
My answers to these questions will be demonstrated through my vote for Drew McKissick
Let’s continue to work together with proven leadership and continue to grow our party.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Barbara Nielsen is a Republican delegate from Beaufort county, South Carolina. She served as South Carolina’s superintendent of education from 1991-1999.
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