SC Gov Candidate Denies ‘Inappropriate Physical Relationship’ With Prominent Blogger

May 24, 2010 8:25 a.m.

A prominent South Carolina blogger, Will Folks of FITSNews, claimed today that several years ago he had “an inappropriate physical relationship” with South Carolina Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley — prompting a swift denial from Haley.

Folks, a former spokesman for Gov. Mark Sanford and a self-proclaimed supporter of Haley’s gubernatorial campaign, said the relationship occurred before he was married. Haley, a state representative, has been married since the mid-1990s and has two children.Today after Folks’ blog post went up, she canceled a media appearance and issued this statement:

I have been 100% faithful to my husband throughout our 13 years of marriage. This claim against me is categorically and totally false.

It is sad, but not surprising, that this disgraceful smear has taken form less than a week removed from the release of a poll showing our campaign with a significant lead. It is quite simply South Carolina politics at its worst.

These attacks – and those sure to follow – are an effort at distraction, but I will keep my focus on what matters, and that is delivering South Carolina’s government back to our people. That’s a fight I have fought for the last five years. That’s why I entered this race for Governor. And that’s what I will continue to do, despite any outrageous and false claims that are thrown at me.

Folks said he went public with the relationship because operatives who oppose Haley were leaking news of the relationship. “[W]ithin the last forty-eight hours several pieces of information which purportedly document a prior physical relationship between myself and Rep. Haley have begun to be leaked slowly, piece by piece, to members of the mainstream media. I am told that at least one story based upon this information will be published this week,” Folks wrote.

Haley is running primarily as a fiscal conservative. But a campaign flier says she “supports traditional, family values.”

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