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      Ex-mayoral candidate takes a jab at new city hire

      Former mayoral candidate Aaron Johnson made headlines with his editorial in this weekâ??s edition of the Columbia City Paper.

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Printed in black and white, former mayoral candidate Aaron Johnson reflects on his experience on the campaign trail.

      Johnson claims that Steve Benjamin's staffer Michael Wukela admitted to him that he is a "hard core Socialist."

      The conversation in the article is accurate as far as my recollection goes, Johnson says. I mean, all the basic facts are correct.

      Johnson, who lost to Benjamin by double digits in the mayoral election, says he felt that it was his obligation to share the confession, since Wukela is now on the city payroll.

      At Benjamin's request, City Manager Steve Gantt hired Wukela and Sam Johnson as temporary employees, assigned to the mayor's office.

      When Steve Benjamin decided he would put forth these gentlemen to become public payroll recipients without a clear and accurate definition of what they would be doing or why they should be chosen in the midst of our financial crisis, that opened it up to public debate, Johnson said.

      The former mayoral candidate adds that's why he wrote the article, not because he is upset about the election loss.

      WACH Fox News wanted to know what input, if any, Wukela will have in city policy.

      Both Wukela and Benjamin declined to comment on the issue.