Alan Wilson (Republican Party) is the Attorney General of South Carolina. He assumed office on January 12, 2011. His current term ends on January 11, 2023.
Wilson (Republican Party) ran for re-election for Attorney General of South Carolina. He won in the general election on November 6, 2018.
Wilson won re-election to a four-year term on November 6, 2018. He defeated Constance Anastopoulo (D) with 55.1 percent of the vote. The office of the attorney general in South Carolina does not have term limits.
While serving as attorney general, Wilson appealed a 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that said the state's ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court's June 2015 ruling to legalize marriage for same-sex couples in all 50 states neutralized that appeal. Wilson said that his efforts squared with the attorney general's chief duty to defend state law.
Before becoming the attorney general, Wilson served as an assistant solicitor, as assistant attorney general, and as a major in the South Carolina Army National Guard. He is the son of Joseph Wilson, a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives.
Wilson joined the South Carolina National Guard as a platoon leader after receiving his bachelor's degree from Francis Marion University. He was deployed to Iraq, where he earned a Combat Action Badge for leading troops through enemy fire. Wilson was later promoted to the rank of Major. In October 2003, he was appointed as an assistant to the 11th Circuit Solicitor's Office, remaining there for four years. From January 2007 until March 2009, he served as an assistant in the South Carolina Attorney General's Office. Wilson then worked as an attorney for the Columbia-based private practice law firm of Willoughby & Hoefer, PA.
Incumbent Alan Wilson defeated Constance Anastopoulo in the general election for Attorney General of South Carolina on November 6, 2018.
|Alan Wilson (R)||
|Constance Anastopoulo (D)||
Total votes: 1,703,834
Incumbent Alan Wilson defeated Todd Atwater in the Republican primary runoff for Attorney General of South Carolina on June 26, 2018.
Total votes: 328,671
Constance Anastopoulo advanced from the Democratic primary for Attorney General of South Carolina on June 12, 2018.
Incumbent Alan Wilson and Todd Atwater advanced to a runoff. They defeated William Herlong in the Republican primary for Attorney General of South Carolina on June 12, 2018.
Total votes: 343,097
Wilson ran for re-election as South Carolina Attorney General in 2014. He won the Republican nomination in the unopposed primary on June 10. The general election took place on November 4, 2014.
Attorney General of South Carolina, 2014
|Republican||Alan Wilson Incumbent||60.3%||738,434|
|Election results via South Carolina State Election Commission|
On November 2, 2010, Alan Wilson won election to the office of South Carolina Attorney General. He defeated Matthew Richardson (D) and Leslie Minerd (G) in the general election.
South Carolina Attorney General, 2010
|Election results via South Carolina State Election Commission.|
|2010 Race for Attorney General - Republican Primary|
|Republican Party||Michael Alan Wilson||39.0%|
|Republican Party||William Leighton Lord, III||37.1%|
|Republican Party||Robert Bolchoz||23.9%|
|2010 Race for Attorney General - Republican Primary Runoff|
|Republican Party||Michael Alan Wilson||59.8%|
|Republican Party||William Leighton Lord, III||40.2%|
In 2012, the United States Supreme Court struck down section 4b of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act prevented certain jurisdictions from changing their election laws without getting the approval of the federal government. This was done in response to decades of voter discrimination, primarily in the South, that had prevented African Americans from exercising the right to vote. Section 4b determined which jurisdictions section 5 applied to. One of those jurisdictions was the state of South Carolina. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court held that the discriminatory concerns that the Voting Rights Act sought to address were no longer an issue in the jurisdictions covered by section 4b. In response to the Supreme Court's decision, Attorney General Wilson issued the following statement: "For nearly 50 years, Sections 4 and 5 have imposed an extraordinary intrusion into state sovereignty in certain states, including South Carolina. Over time, great strides have been made and Sections 4 and 5 have become obsolete. Today’s decision means the voting rights of all citizens will continue to be protected under the Voting Rights Act without requiring a different formula for states wishing to implement reasonable election reforms, such as voter ID laws similar to South Carolina’s. This is a victory for all voters as all states can now act equally without some having to ask for permission or being required to jump through the extraordinary hoops demanded by federal bureaucracy."
On August 10, 2015, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Mark Gergel ordered Wilson to reimburse $135,000 in attorney fees and ancillary legal costs to a same-sex couple who sued the state of South Carolina in October 2014 after being denied a marriage license. The lawsuit challenged the legality of South Carolina's enforcement of a ban on gay marriage following a 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that such a ban was unconstitutional. Led by Wilson and Governor Nikki Haley (R), South Carolina appealed the court's ruling and did not issue marriage licenses to gay couples, including the plaintiffs. The U.S. Supreme Court's June 2015 ruling to legalize marriage for same-sex couples in all 50 states neutralized South Carolina's appeal to the 4th Circuit and brought the cost of the couple's legal challenge to bear on the state. Wilson said that his efforts squared with the attorney general's chief duty to defend state law.
On July 13, 2016, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled in a 4-1 decision that special prosecutor David Pascoe could continue an investigation into public corruption in the state legislature after he was removed from the case by Attorney General Wilson. Wilson had appointed Pascoe in 2014 to lead the State Law Enforcement Department (SLED) probe into former House Speaker Bobby Harrell (R); Harrell pleaded guilty to six counts of using campaign funds for personal use in October 2014. Wilson recused himself from the investigation in mid-2015, citing a conflict of interest. At that time, Wilson again appointed Pascoe to lead the probe; however, in early 2016, Wilson removed Pascoe from the case after Pascoe attempted to empanel a grand jury to further the investigation. Wilson's office claimed that the special prosecutor did not have the power to convene a grand jury, and asserted that Pascoe was incompetent and "difficult to work with." Pascoe appealed the decision to the state courts. In the Supreme Court decision, Chief Justice Costa Pleicones wrote: “ We conclude Pascoe has met his burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence [that] he was vested with the authority to act as the Attorney General in the redacted legislators matter, and that this authority necessarily included the power to initiate a state grand jury investigation. ”
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