COLUMBIA (WACH) - A political blogger and former press secretary for Gov. Mark Sanford announced Monday he had an "inappropriate physical relationship" with Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley.
Will Folks said on his website, FITSNews.com, the relationship took place several years ago. Both Folks and Haley are married; however, Folks said the relationship took place prior to his marriage. The article does not state whether or not Haley was married at the time.
Haley's campaign issued a statement Monday denying the allegations.
"I have been 100% faithful to my husband throughout our 13 years of marriage," Haley said. "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," the statement continued.
Folks said he decided to make a public announcement Monday after learning political opponents of Haley and himself were leaking evidence of their previous relationship to the media.
"I refuse to play that game. I refuse to have someone hold the political equivalent of a switch-blade in front of my face and just sit there and watch as they cut me to pieces," Folks said.
FITSNews co-owner Nancy Mace issued a statement Monday that describes Folks' admission as a "personal matter." Mace said he will not grant any further interviews to discuss the subject.
Haley is leading the race for the GOP gubernatorial nomination after receiving the endorsement of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and former first lady Jenny Sanford.
In a radio interview on WVOC Monday afternoon, Haley told host Keven Cohen that she spoke with both Palin and Sanford and they are still backing her as a candidate. You can listen to that interview here.
Haley challenged her opponents to stay away from using smear tactics and personal attacks at Monday night's candidate forum in Greenville.
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