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On March 30, Donald Trump issued a surprising endorsement, passing over a close ally who was also running for the same position.

Trump endorsed the reelection bid of South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Drew McKissick, passing over close ally Lin Wood, the attorney who filed several lawsuits regarding the 2020 election.

“Drew McKissick has done an outstanding job as South Carolina GOP Chairman, electing more Republicans in 2020 than in over 140 years. Drew fought all the way to the Supreme Court to defend our voting laws—and WON. He will continue to grow the party and help Conservatives get elected in the Great State of South Carolina. Drew has my Complete and Total Endorsement for re-election!” Trump wrote in a statement, which was released by his Save America political action committee.

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The former president had previously endorsed McKissick on February 23 in a hand-written note, but this official public announcement still surprised many conservatives, as it was released only one day after Lin Wood had announced his intent to run for the same position.

McKissick, who has led the South Carolina Republican Party since 2017, has Donald Trump’s hand-written endorsement as a pinned tweet at the top of his Twitter page with the caption: “I’m honored to have President Trump’s endorsement and looking forward to the opportunity to continue to serve our Party and the conservative principles and grassroots activists that have given us our biggest majority in 140 years.”

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