SC GOP leader dies after battling COVID for more than a month

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Pressley Stutts, the GOP leader who helped reshape the Greenville County Republican Party leadership, died Thursday of complications from COVID-19.

He had been hospitalized since late July and admitted to the ICU on Aug. 3. He had been on a ventilator at Spartanburg Regional Hospital, suffering from pneumonia, renal failure and blood clots.

Stutts was a member of the Tea Party and helped found MySCGOP, a conservative organization intended as an alternative to the S.C. Republican Party.

He was a leader in pushing for a more right-leaning Republican Party that led to the resignation of Greenville GOP Chair Jennifer Black, 1st Vice Chair Stacy Shea and state Executive Committeeman Randy Page.

He was a fervent supporter of President Donald J. Trump and posted photos on Facebook of himself with the former president.

After Stutts tested positive for COVID and was hospitalized, he continued to post Facebook messages reaffirming his belief that masks and vaccines should not be mandated by the government.

His wife, Patty, also tested positive for COVID and was hospitalized but has since recovered.

“On behalf of Pressley’s family, and at Patty’s specific request, we would please request privacy for the family at this very difficult time. We will provide further updates as they develop,” a message on Stutts’ Facebook page said.

Hundreds of people have posted on his Facebook page supporting him through his illness and since his death.

Stutts said he never doubted the insidiousness of COVID and that the virus is not anything to fool around with..

“It is a deadly bio-weapon perpetrated upon the people of the world by enemies foreign, and perhaps domestic,” he said on social media.

He said it was up to individuals — and not government — to decide to wear a mask or to be vaccinated against the disease.

“Mandates and coercions do not work, especially when they come to us from a government that has repeatedly lied to the American People time and time again,” he said. “We the people have been awakened by the truth-telling and exposure of the depth of depravity and corruption President Trump has exposed.”

Stutts worked as a development director for nonprofits and school, in the insurance business and as a financial planner.

He served for more than three decades in the U.S. Navy Reserve and retired as a commander in 2011. He also served as a chaplain for the service.

He served in active duty in the Marines in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Most recently he founded a travel business that

Stutts was a graduate of Gardner-Webb University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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