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Will Folks says he won’t ‘shed a tear’ for Haley if accusations force her out of office

Posted By Alex Pappas On 2:06 AM 06/23/2010 In Blog - Alex Pappas | 21 Comments

Republican Nikki Haley won the South Carolina Republican gubernatorial primary on Tuesday night, but the blogger who catapulted the race into the national spotlight by alleging an affair with the candidate told The Daily Caller that he won’t “shed a tear” if her political career is destroyed by his allegations.

“I will be sad for the state if she goes down as a result of these accusations being conclusively proven, but I will not shed a tear for her personally,” said Will Folks of FITSNews.com, who continues to stand by his unproven claim that he and Haley had an affair. “She’s the one who has chosen to stake her career on a lie, not me.”

Haley’s campaign, which was victorious over Rep. Gresham Barrett in the Republican run-off for governor Tuesday, did not immediately respond to a request to interview the candidate. But throughout the campaign, Haley has denied any infidelity, saying she is “100 percent faithful” to her husband of 13 years and that she would resign if the affairs were proven to have occurred.

Folks, who says he is authoring a book, suggested that he still has proof.

“As for evidence, I do plan on addressing the affair extensively in my book, and obviously that could include any number of new details,” he said.

Haley’s path to winning the Republican nomination has been a strange one, even for a state known for its nasty campaigns. Larry Marchant, a lobbyist who worked for one of Haley’s other primary opponents, also came forward during the primary to say that he had sex with Haley, though he admitted he couldn’t prove the affair either. Haley’s campaign denied that allegation, too.

Folks said that he has no regrets about making the accusation but acknowledged the damage it has done.

“Not only has my reputation been hurt, [but] I’ve lost advertisers and clients and have found myself lumped in with a bunch of people I’ve been fighting tooth and nail for the last decade,” he said.

There has been one plus side to the publicity, though. Folks said traffic for the site “is still up and has settled at a nice level for us.”

Folks said that he doesn’t “care about burning bridges” and that, if elected, he would treat Nikki on his blog “like I treat any other politician — praising her when she protects people’s pocketbooks and criticizing her when she doesn’t.”

And as for the type of governor Folks would like to see in Haley, whom he actually endorsed last week?

“If she’s elected, I certainly hope she is more aggressive than Sanford when it comes to shaping a conservative legislative majority,” the Sanford aide-turned-blogger said. “Sanford had five election cycles to accomplish this in South Carolina and couldn’t even get one-third of one chamber to go along with his agenda.”

Katon Dawson, the former chair of the Republican Party in South Carolina who stayed neutral in the primary, said that Haley has “taken every shot they’ve thrown at her on the Republican Party” and that she will be prepared for whatever the Democrats throw at her.

A former candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee, Dawson said that, because Haley is “new” and “fresh,” she will “attract a lot of new voters to our side.” She still has her work cut out for her to win in November, he said, when she will face Democratic State Senator Vincent Sheheen.

“In South Carolina, all of our races are close,” Dawson said. “She’s ready for a fight.”

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