South Carolina attorney general kicks off bid for 3rd term

February 7, 2018

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s top prosecutor officially kicked off his bid for a third term Wednesday, touting of some of his accomplishments during eight years in office and saying he’d like to continue working on behalf of the state’s people.

During a day that included stops in Columbia, Greenville and Seneca, Republican Attorney General Alan Wilson also unveiled a steering committee of more than 270 business, civic and political leaders throughout the state, including former Attorney General Charlie Condon, Spartanburg Sheriff Chuck Wright and Wilson’s father, U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson.

“We’re humbled by the massive support in all corners of South Carolina,” Wilson said. “We will lean on these men and women to deliver our message of defending the constitution, protecting families, and upholding the rule of law to their communities.”

During his eight years in office, Wilson has led prosecution efforts on a variety of issues, including domestic violence and human trafficking. He also defended challenges to South Carolina’s voter ID law and helped lead a 26-state challenge to the federal health care mandate. Last year he sued Purdue Pharma, accusing the maker of OxyContin and other opioid drugs of exacerbating South Carolina’s opioid drug crisis by using deceptive marketing practices.

First elected in 2010, Wilson had no GOP primary opposition in 2014 and easily defeated the Democratic nominee. He’s drawn two Republican challengers so far this year: Lexington Rep. Todd Atwater and Greenville attorney William Herlong.

Last year, Herlong called on Wilson to resign because of ties to targets of a corruption probe. Wilson isn’t implicated in the probe, which his office began in 2014 with the indictment of then-Speaker Bobby Harrell, but did recuse himself, citing a conflict of interest. Herlong reiterated his criticism Wednesday, saying in a release that he would be a prosecutor “who doesn’t play political games.”

Wilson is a client of political consultant Richard Quinn, who was indicted in the probe but accepted a plea deal to cooperate if all charges are dropped. Wilson’s campaign spokesman has called any allegations attempting to tie Wilson to the corruption “absurd political theatrics in its worst form.”

Wilson’s kickoff continues Thursday, when he is set to visit Mount Pleasant and Florence.


Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP. Read more of her work at https://apnews.com/search/meg%20kinnard .

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