Alan Wilson

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Alan Wilson
Alan Wilson.jpg
Attorney General of South Carolina
In office
January 12, 2011 - Present
Term ends
January 2019
Years in position 4
PredecessorHenry McMaster (R)
Base salary$92,007
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 6, 2018
Campaign $$1,347,091
Term limitsNone
High schoolGrace Christian School
Bachelor'sFrancis Marion University (1996)
J.D.University of South Carolina School of Law (2002)
Military service
Service/branchSouth Carolina National Guard
Years of service1997 - Present
CitationsCombat Action Badge
Date of birthJuly 16, 1973
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Alan Wilson campaign logo
Michael Alan Wilson (born July 16, 1973) is the 51st and current Attorney General of South Carolina. A Republican, Wilson won election to the office on November 2, 2010, defeating Matthew Richardson (D) and Leslie Minerd (G). The seat was open due to Henry McMaster's (R) unsuccessful bid for the governorship.[1] Taking office on January 12, 2011, Wilson became the youngest attorney general at the time.[2]

Wilson was re-elected on November 4, 2014, and began his second term as the state's attorney general on January 14, 2015.[3]

Voter fraud has been a major issue for Wilson. In 2012, Wilson successfully sued the U.S. Justice Department after they blocked a South Carolina law requiring voters to present photo identification at the polls.[4][5]

Wilson previously served as an assistant solicitor in Lexington County and Assistant Attorney General with the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office.[6]

Wilson was a major in the South Carolina Army National Guard. He is also the son of Joseph Wilson, a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives.[2]


Right after receiving his bachelor's degree from Francis Marion University, Wilson joined the South Carolina National Guard as a platoon leader. He was deployed to Iraq, where he earned a Combat Action Badge for leading troops through enemy fire.[7] Wilson was later promoted to the rank of Major, and he continues today to serve as a Judge Advocate General whose role is to provide legal support for soldiers and prosecutes military crimes.[7] 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.[2]


  • Graduated from Grace Christian School
  • Bachelor's degree, Francis Marion University in political science
  • Juris Doctorate degree, University of South Carolina[2]

Political career

Attorney General of South Carolina (2011-present)

Wilson was elected South Carolina’s 51st attorney general on November 2, 2010. When he took office on January 12, 2011, he became the nation’s youngest attorney general. Before leading the office, Wilson had worked within it as a prosecution division intern and as an assistant attorney general under predecessors Charlie Condon and Henry McMaster.[7]

Voter ID law

In 2011, the Republican attorney general oversaw the passage of voter-ID legislation which sought to impede voter-impersonation at the polls by requiring all South Carolina voters to show photo identification before casting their ballots. The U.S. Department of Justice rejected the law on the grounds that it could effectively disenfranchise tens of thousands of the state's minority voters who do not possess adequate photo-ID. The law was correspondingly deemed to be in violation of a 1965 Voting Rights Act provision requiring states with histories of discrimination to obtain the agency's approval before enacting any relevant legislation.[8] After the law was rejected, Wilson continued his mission to fight fraudulent forces threatening the integrity of South Carolina's elections. "What the Justice Department did was deny South Carolina voters the protection of law," he said in April 2012 at a fundraising event that showcased the work of guerrilla filmmakers who stage and capture instances of people successfully voting under the names of different or dead residents at the polls to shed light on the vulnerabilities of the current process.[8]

Presidential preference

Wilson endorsed former Republican Presidential primary candidate John Huntsman in 2012. Huntsman withdrew his bid before the primary election took place.


See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Alan Wilson endorsed Jon Huntsman in the 2012 presidential election. [9]

House Speaker investigation

In 2014, a court case in South Carolina tested the limits of Attorney General Wilson's constitutional powers.[10] The South Carolina Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell, Jr. is being investigated for campaign fund irregularities by South Carolina Attorney General Wilson. The judge in charge of the proceedings, L. Casey Manning, questioned the Attorney General's constitutional right to investigate the matter without first receiving the case from the House Ethics Committee. Three former South Carolina Attorneys General, Henry McMaster, Charlie Condon and Travis Medlock, joined the case to support the current officeholder saying, "Over the past thirty years, not one of us ever imagined the Attorney General needed authorization from a legislative committee or political body in order to investigate or prosecute alleged criminal behavior by an elected official. Such a restriction would undercut the core Constitutional authority of the Attorney General. And even more importantly, it would violate the fundamental basis of our system of government that all people should be treated equally under the law."[10] Adding to the complexity of the case, Judge Manning was elected by the South Carolina General Assembly, creating a possible conflict of interest. South Carolina is one of two states where the legislature elects judges.

On May 12, Justice Manning handed down a decision that dissolved the grand jury for the case and shut down the Attorney General's investigation. Manning judged that there was no evidence of criminal allegations and, since ethics violations are a civil matter, any investigation must originate from the House Ethics Committee. Attorney General Alan Wilson promised to appeal to the South Carolina Supreme Court.[11] Critics noted that the judge's decision seemed to give legislators a separate justice system in which they can only be investigated by their peers and "corruption (will be) what they (legislators) say it is."[12][13]



See also: South Carolina attorney general election, 2014 and United States Senate special election in South Carolina, 2014

Wilson ran for re-election as South Carolina Attorney General in 2014.[14] He won the Republican nomination in the unopposed primary on June 10. The general election took place November 4, 2014.

Wilson was rumored as a possible appointee to Jim DeMint's U.S. Senate seat. On December 17, 2012, Gov. Nikki Haley announced she had chosen to appoint Representative Tim Scott to fill DeMint's seat beginning in January 2013. Although Wilson was not appointed, he would still have been eligible to run for election to the remainder of the term in 2014.[15][16][17]


General election
Attorney General of South Carolina, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngAlan Wilson Incumbent 60.3% 738,434
     Democratic Parnell Diggs 39.7% 486,058
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.1% 879
Total Votes 1,225,371
Election Results via South Carolina State Election Commission.


See also: South Carolina Attorney General election, 2010

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
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngAlan Wilson 53.7% 716,193
     Democratic Matthew Richardson 44.2% 589,135
     Green Leslie Minerd 2% 27,008
     Write-In Various 0% 470
Total Votes 1,332,806
Election Results Via: South Carolina State Election Commission

2010 Race for Attorney General - Republican Primary[18]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Michael Alan Wilson 39.0%[19]
     Republican Party William Leighton Lord, III 37.1%
     Republican Party Robert Bolchoz 23.9%
Total Votes 385,312
2010 Race for Attorney General - Republican Primary Runoff[20]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Michael Alan Wilson 59.8%
     Republican Party William Leighton Lord, III 40.2%
Total Votes 343,874

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Wilson is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Wilson raised a total of $1,347,091 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 11, 2013.[21]

Alan Wilson's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 SC Attorney General Not up for election $289,804
2010 SC Attorney General Won $1,057,287
Grand Total Raised $1,347,091


Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Alan Wilson's donors each year.[22] Click [show] for more information.


Wilson currently resides in West Columbia, South Carolina with his wife, Jennifer, and their two children - Michael and Anna Grace.[2]

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Contact Information

Mailing Address:
The Honorable Michael Alan Wilson
Post Office Box 11549
Columbia, SC 29211

South Carolina

Street Address:
Rembert Dennis Building
1000 Assembly Street, Room 519
Columbia, S.C. 29201

Phone: (803) 734-3970
Fax: (803) 734-4323

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. The New York Times, " Election 2010 – South Carolina," accessed July 18, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 South Carolina Attorney General, "Full Biography" accessed November 4, 2012
  3. Columbia Patch, "Angling For 2014 Statewide Races Is Underway," February 12, 2013
  4. The Atlantic Wire, "South Carolina Sues the Government Over Voter I.D. Law," December 7, 2012
  5. South Carolina Attorney General, "Attorney General Alan Wilson Issues Statement on Voter ID Ruling," accessed October 10, 2012
  6. Wilson for Attorney General, " Meet Alan Wilson," accessed July 18, 2013
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 South Carolina Attorney General, "Full Biography-Alan Wilson," accessed April 18, 2012
  8. 8.0 8.1 The Aiken Standard, "S.C. attorney general talking voter ID with James O'Keefe," April 18, 2012
  9. The Daily Caller, "Jon Huntsman scores key endorsement in South Carolina," June 30, 2011
  10. 10.0 10.1 The State, "Scoppe: Here’s the real danger in the Harrell ruling," May 7, 2014
  11. The State, "Judge to AG Wilson: Stop SLED and grand jury probe of House Speaker Harrell," May 12, 2014
  12. The Post and COurier, "Judge Manning: S.C. House, not courts, should investigate Speaker Bobby Harrell," May 12, 2014
  13. The Center for Public Integrity, "An ethical mess in South Carolina," June 17, 2014
  14. Fits News, Alan Wilson Sitting Pretty For Re-election, June 25, 2013
  15. Roll Call, "Appointment Speculation Centers on Rep. Tim Scott," December 6, 2012
  16. Politico, "All eyes on Nikki Haley to pick Jim DeMint successor," December 7, 2012
  17. Political, "Haley to announce DeMint's replacement at noon," December 17, 2012
  18. South Carolina State Election Commission - 2010 Republican and Democratic Primary Election Results
  19. Even though Michael Alan Wilson received the most votes, he failed to receive over fifty percent of those votes required by South Carolina state law. A runoff election between the top two vote recipients, therefore, was required to decide who went on to the general election.
  20. South Carolina State Election Commission - 2010 Republican and Democratic Primary Runoff Election Results
  21. Follow the Money, " Career fundraising for Alan Wilson," accessed May 11, 2013
  22. Follow the

Political offices
Preceded by
Henry McMaster (R)
South Carolina Attorney General
Succeeded by