Lin Wood Falls to Trump-Endorsed Drew McKissick in Bid to Lead South Carolina GOP

Pro-Trump lawyer Lin Wood's attempt to convince delegates to make him the next South Carolina Republican Party chairman fell through on Saturday, when incumbent Drew McKissick secured his reelection bid for a third two-year term, The State reported.

Wood only became a registered South Carolina voter in February and was soon after recruited to take on McKissick, who took over the Republican Party in 2017.

The final delegate count was 582 for McKissick and 239 for Wood. Despite falling well short, the Atlanta attorney swept two of the state's more conservative strongholds, Horry and Greenville counties, but not enough to sway the incumbent's broad base of support across the state.

"It's not surprising that someone who has no roots in the state and no contacts within that group of people to speak of doesn't do very well," McKissick said of Wood in remarks to reporters after the election.

Former President Donald Trump endorsed McKissick's campaign a total of three times, the last being hours before the convention on Friday.

As The State reported, the South Carolina GOP held a hybrid convention due to COVID-19 restrictions, and because of that change, candidates had to deliver their speeches in email format. Wood and his backers accused the party and McKissick of flouting their own rules and a judge rejected a lawsuit filed this week by three of Wood's Upstate backers to hold the convention in person.

An adherent of the Q-Anon conspiracy theory, Wood contended Trump won the election in a landslide and is still president, reported Politico. Wood built his candidacy around his support of Trump, whom Wood said he supported in 2016 because he thought chaos was good for the country.

In a series of campaign speeches in April, Wood told the city of Aiken: "We need some chaos in the Republican Party in South Carolina. Somebody needs to shake it up, so here I am, Mr. Shaker."

Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, pointed to a video of Lin Wood's claims that Trump is still president, and suggested Saturday that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is allowing "actual insanity" in the GOP.

Wood had support from former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. Wood's constant attacks on McKissick, according to Politico, concerned some old-time Republicans, claiming that Wood's undermining the party leadership and spreading conspiracy theories at his events could lead hundreds of conservatives astray.

"Drew is a cheater," Wood said to his huge following on Telegram, without any evidence, before the vote. "If he 'wins' today, he will be a Fake Chairman just like Biden is a Fake President!"

Newsweek contacted Wood on Saturday for comment.

Defamation Lawsuit Against Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Attorneys L. Lin Wood (C) and Mark Stephen (L) speak to the media about their client, British rescue diver Vernon Unsworth (rear), as they arrive at US District Court on December 3, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Unsworth is suing Tesla CEO Elon Musk for defamation over calling him "Pedo Guy" and rapist. (Photo by Apu Gomes/Getty Images)