Johnson losing battle for campaign cash to challenger in solicitor's race
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) - Solicitor Dan Johnson is losing the campaign contribution battle to his opponent in the race to keep his job as the Fifth Circuit's chief prosecutor.
Johnson, who has been dogged by allegations of questionable spending in his office, is losing the fight for campaign cash to Democratic primary challenger Byron Gipson.
According to both candidates' most recent filings with the State Ethics Commission, Johnson raised $9,530 from supporters during the months of April and May, while Gipson tallied $57,090 in campaign contributions during that same period.
The filings are available through the State Ethics Commission's Candidate Campaign Disclosure system.
The sizeable gap in campaign cash comes at a time when critics are ramping up the pressure on Johnson to drop out of the race as SLED and the FBI look into his office's spending records.
On Wednesday, state Rep. Todd Rutherford called on Johnson to drop out of the Fifth Circuit Solicitor's office race if he can't provide the results of an independent audit of those records by Friday.
"We deserve to know these results before the election, not afterward when it's clear from his own audit that he mis-spent money," said Rutherford.
It's worth noting Rutherford backs Gipson in the solicitor's race.
Johnson continues to maintain he has done nothing wrong.
"This 11th hour call from Mr. Gipson and Mr. Rutherford smacks of desperation," said Johnson in a statement to WACH Fox News. "I’m not sure who’s pulling their strings, but I believe the people will decide by showing up to the polls and voting on Tuesday, June 12th. And, as I have previously stated, we hired an independent firm to conduct our audit.
Spending records from Johnson's office showed he spent thousands of dollars on high-priced hotels, trips and luxury Uber rides, among other items. Watchdog group Protecting Public Access to Public Records, obtained nearly 1,000 pages of records from the Fifth Circuit Solicitor's office.
The Democratic primary in the solicitor's race is set for Tuesday, June 12.