The man who former Lt. Gov. Ken Ard beat in a runoff to get the Republican nomination in 2010 said Ard’s manipulation of campaign finance laws had a big impact in their race.
Ard pleaded guilty Friday to seven counts of violating campaign finance laws. Prosecutors said Ard gave people his own money to make illegal contributions, and claimed $87,000 worth of donations that did not exist early in 2009 as candidates, including Orangeburg attorney Bill Connor, were jockeying for big money supporters.
“That first quarter fundraising was critical in showing the big donors in the state who had the support on their side,” Connor told The (Orangeburg) Times and Democrat.
Ard beat Connor by getting 61 percent of the vote in the runoff. Ard had 33 percent in the four-candidate primary race, while Connor came in second with 27 percent.
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“I think clearly any person looking at it can see that it gave him a distinct advantage,” Connor said. “I was his main competition in the primary. He was fraudulent about money coming into his campaign.”
Ard did the right thing by resigning “He cheated and is now paying the consequences,” Connor said.
Connor said his thoughts are with Ard and his family as they deal with him being sentenced to five years of probation and having to resign from his office.
Connor said he is not dwelling on the 2010 race, instead continuing to love his family and practice law. a