By Jim Davenport ASSOCIATED PRESS
COLUMBIA, S.C. | A South Carolina lobbyist resigned from a rival political campaign Wednesday and then became the second man to claim he had a tryst with a Republican lawmaker trying to become the state’s first female governor.
Lobbyist Larry Marchant conceded he had no proof to back up his allegation of a one-night stand with state Rep. Nikki Haley in 2008. Her campaign vehemently denied his story. The claim became the latest political drama for a state that was roiled when married Gov. Mark Sanford made a tearful confession last summer of sneaking out of the country to rendezvous with an Argentine woman.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Marchant resigned from the campaign of Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, who is competing with Mrs. Haley for the GOP nomination in the Tuesday primary. He said Mr. Bauer asked for his resignation after a newspaper reporter began asking questions about the rumored tryst this week.
Mr. Bauer declined to comment about it, but his campaign did take the unusual step of announcing the resignation for “inappropriate conduct not in keeping with the goals of this campaign.”
Mrs. Haley emphatically denied Mr. Marchant’s assertion during a debate with Mr. Bauer and the two other Republican candidates in Charleston on Wednesday.
“It never happened. Absolutely not,” she said. “This is just disgusting politics. Two or three months ago I was Nikki who? and nobody was saying anything and a couple weeks ago we started going double digits up in the polls and now we have had everything thrown at us.”
Mrs. Haley’s campaign manager had the same stance.
“As Nikki Haley rises in the polls, the good old boys in Columbia see their taxpayer-funded fraternity party coming crumbling down, and they will say or do anything to hold onto their power,” Tim Pearson said earlier. “This is South Carolina politics at its worst.”
To read more, visit: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jun/3/haley-denies-claim-of-a-second-tryst/
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