GOP chairman kicked out of Republican club over school board endorsements

Charleston County Republican Party Chairman Maurice Washington is no longer welcome as a member of the Greater Lowcountry Republican Club.
Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 1:27 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 27, 2022 at 6:35 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County Republican Party Chairman Maurice Washington is no longer welcome as a member of the Greater Lowcountry Republican Club.

“It was quite a surprise,” Washington said. “You get something in the mail without the opportunity to talk about it or the courtesy of a call. My reaction to it is that it is crazy.”

Washington received a handwritten letter on Monday from the Greater Lowcountry Republican Club informing him of their decision and a refund check for $25. The letter, dated Oct. 10, is signed by Margaret Bobo, Greater Lowcountry Republican Club president.

“Your decision to support Democratic candidates violates the by-laws the Greater Lowcountry Republic Club. Enclosed is a refund for the 2023 dues,” Bobo writes. “Your name will be removed from our membership list by order of the board.”

The letter, dated Oct. 10, is signed by Margaret Bobo, GLRC president.
The letter, dated Oct. 10, is signed by Margaret Bobo, GLRC president.(Live 5)

The move comes after the Charleston County Republican Party announced its endorsements for the Charleston County School Board race.

Candidates earned the backing of the party through a process that involved a survey and an interview by a committee of Greater Lowcountry Republican Club members. Candidates hoping to get the backing of Charleston Republicans were required to do the survey. About half of the 32 candidates choose to take the survey. The party made endorsements in seven of the nine races.

Three candidates managed to garner support from both major parties: Kevin Hollinshead in District 4, Lee Runyon in District 6 and Darlene Dunmeyer in District 8. Runyon also managed to get the Moms for Liberty endorsement as well.

“These are nonpartisan elections,” Washington said. “What matters here are the strong values that they bring to the job. . . folks who do not buy into the indoctrination of our children. Some of these folks have universal appeal, which is an indicator that we may have gotten this one right.”

Washington says he believes the leadership team who made the decision to kick him out of the group is not reflective of the larger group as a whole or the party. He says the incoming leadership team is more in line with groups like Moms for Liberty than the big-tent nature of the local party.

“I am not interested in remaining in the club – not at all,” Washington said. “We don’t register by party in South Carolina and school board elections are nonpartisan. Who are these democrats that they are referring to . . . all are highly qualified to serve. All came through a very conservative vetting process.”

Washington emailed Bobo expressing his concern and surprise at his removal and requested an opportunity to sit down with the board. He says that the email has not been returned.

“Out of respect for you and the Greater Lowcountry Republican Club, I would love to respond to what I have been found to be guilty of; however, such low specificity from the GLRC board makes it impossible for me to do so,” Washington wrote in the email.

Greater Lowcountry Republican Club did not respond to multiple requests for comments.