AP NEWS

Volunteer no longer in Williams campaign

August 11, 2018

Robert Williams

FLORENCE, S.C. – Robert Rhinesmith will no longer be a part of the Robert Williams campaign.

In a letter to South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Trav Robertson, Williams said, “On another note, our efforts have been supported by countless volunteers. As you are probably aware, one of those volunteers was Robert Rhinesmith. After careful consideration and our inquiry into the matter, as of July 10, 2018, Mr. Rhinesmith no longer serves in any capacity, nor will be involved in our campaign efforts in any way. We do not support any negative intent from any of our volunteers and/or staff.”

“The letter kind of states where I’m at,” Williams said Friday afternoon. “We’re just kind of moving forward.”

According to Williams, Rhinesmith called himself Williams’ “chief of staff.”

Rhinesmith brought controversy to the Williams campaign when several of his Facebook posts were featured in a segment on “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC.

One such post was above a link that claims an illegal immigrant stole a police officer’s gun and then murdered the police officer with it. The post said, “If these illegals stole weapons and used them against the politicians that lobby and legislate to protect them, I’d be good with that!”

Another post claimed Adolf Hitler was a liberal.

One post claimed former President Barack Obama had been accused of sexual harassment while attending Harvard Law School.

A final post claimed that recent mass shooters were registered Democrats and none were members of the National Rifle Association.

Williams said Friday afternoon that Rhinesmith would likely not be replaced.

“We probably won’t replace that,” Williams added. “We won’t have a chief of staff.”

Williams is the Democratic nominee for the Congressional District 7 seat currently held by Republican Tom Rice. In the June 12 primary, Williams and Mal Hyman, who was the Democratic nominee for the seat in 2016, advanced to the runoff over Dr. Bruce Fischer and Bill Hopkins. Williams then defeated Hyman the day after Rhinesmith’s Facebook posts were featured on Maddow’s show.

Rice has secured the Republican nomination for the seat.

Williams also is running to keep his South Carolina House District 62 seat. He defeated Linda Byrd-Spearman and Joe Ard to become the Democratic nominee for that seat. Williams will face Republican Billy Baldwin in that race.

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