South Carolina attorney general Alan Wilson has drawn a Republican primary opponent in his bid for a fourth term as the Palmetto State’s top prosecutor.
Wilson, 48, is being challenged by Lauren Martel – a Bluffton, S.C. attorney who is affiliated with the mySCGOP.com movement, an effort to remake the S.C. “Republican” party and seize the mantle of the “Make America Great Movement” founded by former U.S. president Donald Trump.
According to a news release announcing her candidacy, Martel is planning on running a “vigorous insurgent campaign” against Wilson. Her announcement certainly didn’t pull any punches, unloading on Wilson for a host of alleged failures. Among them? His refusal to step in and block S.C. governor Henry McMaster from controversially extending his emergency executive authority during the early days of the Covid-19 shutdowns.
I actually credited Wilson on that front, arguing that he “refrained from initiating a constitutional crisis based on a strict interpretation of the emergency powers statutes” – instead leaving the question of McMaster’s emergency authority to the S.C. General Assembly and to the courts.
Martel also blasted Wilson for his alleged failure to “take any action against pharmacies engaging in the unauthorized practice of medicine by overruling doctor prescriptions for therapeutics such as Ivermectin” and for allegedly refusing to probe “the financial incentives given to hospitals to deny alternative Covid therapeutics rather than forcing patients to follow the central planning dictates of Tony Fauci.”
“The issue of our time is ending the civil liberties violations of Covid tyranny and restoring medical freedom for all people in South Carolina,” Martel said. “Our elected officials, particularly our Republican elected officials such as attorney general Alan Wilson, have not protected the citizens of South Carolina from this onslaught against their liberties. I’m running because I will.”
Martel also took a dim view of Wilson’s efforts to block the implementation of various Covid-19 vaccine mandates promulgated by the administration of U.S. president Joe Biden. As chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), Wilson has led the national fight against these mandates in the federal courts.
That’s not good enough for Martel, it would appear …
“We need action, right here in the State of South Carolina – not in federal courts elsewhere around the country,” she said. “The lawsuits to which Wilson signed on to at the last minute are lawsuits that should have been filed in South Carolina to directly protect the rights of our citizens, with other attorneys general signing on behind our leadership – not having our leaders ‘me too’ the leadership of other states.”
Is Martel’s candidacy likely to be a credible one? Probably not …
While there are many GOP politicians vulnerable to challengers from the right wing of the “Republican” party in South Carolina, Wilson is not one of them. Over the last five years, he has built a tremendous base of full-spectrum support among the GOP electorate – including beating back a pair of well-funded opponents in the 2018 primary season.
“Alan Wilson is right on every issue that Republican voters care about,” said former SCGOP chairman Matt Moore, a Wilson supporter. “Further, he’s fought and won for the state where it matters most. That kind of leadership is always rewarded.”
Indeed, just hours before Martel announced her candidacy against Wilson, powerful Charlotte, N.C.-based utility Duke Energy announced it was scrapping its bid to foist a massive “taxation without representation” scam on South Carolina ratepayers. Duke pulled the plug on this attempted multi-billion dollar fleecing thanks in no small part to an aggressive rebuke from Wilson’s office challenging the constitutionality of the plan.
Look for much more on this race in the coming weeks, but my early assessment of Martel’s candidacy is that it will amount to little more than an opportunity for Wilson to double up on his campaign contributions (as donors will be able to support him in both the primary and general election cycles in 2022).
There is also an interesting back story as to what may have motivated Martel to challenge Wilson as opposed to campaigning for superintendent of education, a post she was considering running for as recently as last month.
Stay tuned for more on that in future posts …
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
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Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has LOTS of hats (including that Washington Senators’ lid pictured above).
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