Alan Wilson (South Carolina politician)

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Alan Wilson
JAG Passing Alan Wilson.jpg
51st Attorney General of South Carolina
Assumed office
January 12, 2011
Governor Nikki Haley
Henry McMaster
Preceded by Henry McMaster
Personal details
Born (1973-07-16) July 16, 1973 (age 46)
West Columbia, South
, U.S.
Political party Republican
Parents Joe Wilson (Stepfather)
Education Francis Marion University (BA)
University of South Carolina (JD)
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Branch/service  United States Army
Rank Colonel
Unit South Carolina National Guard
Judge Advocate General Corps

Alan McCrory Wilson (born July 16, 1973)[1] is an American lawyer and politician, currently serving his third term as the 51st Attorney General of South Carolina. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Early life and education

Wilson was born Alan McCrory. His father, Michael McCrory, was an Army captain and Vietnam veteran.[2] He was killed in 1975 in a helicopter crash during a training exercise at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.[3] Wilson's mother, Roxanne Dusenbury McCrory, then married Joe Wilson, who currently serves as the U.S. Representative for South Carolina's 2nd congressional district. Joe Wilson adopted Alan when he was three, and Alan took his last name.[3] Along with his three brothers, Alan is an Eagle Scout.[4]

Wilson graduated from Francis Marion University with a bachelor's degree in political science[1] in 1996, and received a J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2002.[5]

Following college, he joined the South Carolina National Guard. He is currently a Colonel in the Judge Advocate General Corps.

Legal career

Wilson served as an intern in the Attorney General's office under Charlie Condon. After law school, he worked for Judge Marc H. Westbrook of the South Carolina Circuit Court. Wilson later served as an Assistant Solicitor and as an Assistant Attorney General. In 2009, he moved to the private sector and started working at the law firm Willoughby & Hoefer in Columbia, South Carolina.

Attorney General of South Carolina

2010 campaign

Henry McMaster did not run for reelection as Attorney General, choosing instead to run for governor,[6] as incumbent Mark Sanford was term limited. Wilson won the GOP nomination in a runoff election on June 22, 2010, receiving 60 percent of the vote against his opponent Leighton Lord.[7] Wilson defeated Democratic Party candidate Matthew Richardson and Green Party candidate Leslie Minerd in the general election on November 2.[8]

Investigation of campaign contributions

In 2013, Wilson self-reported his campaign failed to report least 84 contributions and expenditures on required public reports. In February 2013, Wilson originally admitted his campaign failed to disclose and report receiving at least 15 separate contributions of unknown amounts.[9] A further investigation completed in March 2013 revealed at least 68 unreported contributions and 16 unreported expenditures. As the errors were self reported and the reports were subsequently re-filed, Wilson faced no penalties.[10]

Zombie voters controversy

On January 12, 2012, Wilson falsely claimed on Fox News that "We found out that there were over 900 people who died and then subsequently voted. That number could be even higher than that."[11][12] The Washington Post investigated this and similar claims, finding that the "State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) conducted an extensive probe, which was completed May 11, 2012. But the final report was just made public this month after a 13-month review by Wilson’s office" and concluding that Wilson "hyped these charges into certified "facts", even before any real investigation had taken place. Indeed, the minuscule percentage of alleged dead votes, out of the number cast, should have urged caution. Instead, he went straight to the television cameras—and then his office for months bottled up the report that revealed not a single claim was true."[12] The Washington Post awarded Wilson's claim "Four Pinocchios."[12]

Same-sex marriage

In October 2014, Wilson, defending state law asked the Supreme Court of South Carolina to intervene to stop same-sex marriage licenses from being issued in South Carolina after the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling striking down state bans on same-sex marriage. The 4th Circuit has jurisdiction over South Carolina.[13]

Threatened litigation against DACA

In July 2017, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton led a group of Republican attorneys general from nine other states, including Wilson, plus Idaho Governor Butch Otter, in threatening that they would litigate against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy that had been put into place by President Barack Obama. Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery subsequently reversed his position and withdrew his participation from the proposed suit on August 31. Slatery went further to urge passage of the DREAM Act.[14][15] The other Attorneys General who joined in making the threats against Trump included Steve Marshall of Alabama, Leslie Rutledge of Arkansas, Lawrence Wasden of Idaho, Derek Schmidt of Kansas, Jeff Landry of Louisiana, Doug Peterson of Nebraska, and Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia.[16]

Opposition to marijuana decriminalization

In January 2019, Wilson described marijuana as "the most dangerous drug, because it is the most misunderstood drug" in the United States while denouncing legislation that would allow physicians to prescribe medical marijuana for patients.[17] In 2019, Attorneys General from all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and all four U.S. territories were urged by NAAG to support a bill, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act (H.R. 1595), sponsored by U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), which would permit marijuana-related businesses in states and territories to use the banking system. The bill would facilitate collection of taxes levied on the $8.3 billion industry, reduce the danger of operating cash-only businesses and more effectively monitor the industry. Wilson and 16 other A.G.s did not support the measure. [18]

Personal life

Wilson and his wife, Jennifer, have two children.[1]

Military service

Wilson joined the South Carolina National Guard in 1996, and has received the Combat Action Badge for service in Iraq.[4]

Electoral history

South Carolina Attorney General Republican Primary Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Alan Wilson 150,404 38.94
Republican Leighton Lord 143,339 37.12
Republican Robert Bolchoz 92,457 23.94
South Carolina Attorney General Republican Primary Runoff Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Alan Wilson 205,851 59.79
Republican Leighton Lord 138,444 40.21
South Carolina Attorney General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Alan Wilson 716,193 53.74
Democratic Matthew Richardson 589,135 44.20
Green Leslie Minerd 27,008 2.03
Write-ins Write-ins 470 0.04
South Carolina Attorney General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Alan Wilson (inc.) 738,434 60.26
Democratic Parnell Diggs 486,058 39.67
Write-ins Write-ins 879 0.07
South Carolina Attorney General Republican Primary Election, 2018
Candidate Votes %
Alan Wilson 166,220 48.6
Todd Atwater 101,661 29.7
William Herlong 73,882 21.6


  1. ^ a b c "2010 statewide candidate biographies". The State. McClatchy Company. October 28, 2010. Archived from the original on August 13, 2012. Retrieved June 19, 2011.
  2. ^ Simon, Darran (February 15, 2004). "Congressman with military ties backs Iraq war". The Island Packet. Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Retrieved June 19, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Roig-Franzia, Manuel (June 21, 2010). "Joe Wilson's stepson vs. insurance mogul's son-in-law in South Carolina runoff". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 19, 2011.
  4. ^ a b "MEET ALAN WILSON". Alan Wilson for Attorney General. Alan Wilson for Attorney General. Retrieved June 19, 2011.
  5. ^ "Alan Wilson: Republican Candidate for Attorney General". News Radio WORD. Entercom Communications. Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved June 19, 2011.
  6. ^ Monk, John (January 30, 2011). "New attorney general sets priorities". The State. McClatchy Company. Archived from the original on February 5, 2011. Retrieved June 19, 2011.
  7. ^ "Joe Wilson's son wins runoff for AG". Associated Press. Associated Press. June 22, 2010. Retrieved June 19, 2011.
  8. ^ Smith, Glenn (November 3, 2010). "Wilson easily wins AG post in 1st bid". The Post and Courier. Charleston, SC.
  9. ^ [1] Archived 2013-04-10 at "SC Attorney General Didn't Report Campaign Contributions", The Columbia Free Times, February 21, 2013.
  10. ^ [2] Archived 2013-03-24 at the Wayback Machine "SC Attorney General discovers $134,000 in unreported contributions, expenses," The State Newspaper, March 22, 2013.
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b c Kessler, Glenn (July 26, 2013). "The case of 'zombie' voters in South Carolina". The Washington Post.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-15. Retrieved 2014-10-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ Tennessee’s attorney general: I’ve changed my mind, DACA is good, pass the DREAM Act,, Dara Linddara, September 1, 2017. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  15. ^ Texas leads 10 states in urging Trump to end Obama-era immigration program, Texas Tribune, Julián Aguilar, June 29, 2017. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  16. ^ SPLC denounces letter from 10 Attorneys General seeking "cruel and heartless" repeal of DACA, Southern Poverty Law Center, June 30, 2017. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  17. ^ [email protected], Andrew Brown. "SC police, doctors fighting medical marijuana; AG calls it US's 'most dangerous drug'". Post and Courier. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  18. ^ Attorneys general from 33 states urge banking reform for pot industry, Associated Press, May 8, 2019. Retrieved June 3, 2019.

External links

  • South Carolina Attorney General official page
  • Alan Wilson for Attorney General campaign site
Legal offices
Preceded by
Henry McMaster
Attorney General of South Carolina
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