COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — As political observers mull the future of the Republican Party following the presidency of Donald Trump, the former president is making it clear that he’s going to continue to play an active part. Trump is endorsing South Carolina’s GOP chairman Drew McKissick for a third term, wading not only into state-level politics but also playing a role in maintaining the local party framework in places that backed his presidency.

“He asked if I had anybody running against me, and I said, ‘No, and I’m trying to keep it that way,’” McKissick told The Associated Press on Monday, describing his call with Trump more than a week ago. “He said, ’Yeah, that’s the best way to do it.'”

McKissick, a longtime Republican activist and consultant, since 2017 has chaired the GOP in South Carolina, where Republicans control both legislative chambers, all statewide offices and all but one congressional seat. Home of the first-in-the-South presidential primaries, South Carolina plays a crucial role in the nominating process, hosting numerous candidates seeking their party’s top slots.

Trump’s South Carolina ties are deep. In 2016, then-Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster was the country’s first statewide-elected official to back Trump, whose primary win here helped cement …read more



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