The S.C. Republican Party’s chairman called Tuesday on Palmetto State Democrats to disavow a Democratic candidate for the state Senate who has been accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a former student.
S.C. GOP chair Matt Moore also slammed several prominent Democrats for their plans to host a fundraiser Wednesday in Columbia for former teacher Mike Fanning.
Fanning faces a State Law Enforcement Division investigation over a recent allegation he fondled and had an inappropriate relationship with a student in 1993.
Democratic state Sens. Gerald Malloy of Darlington and Vincent Sheheen of Kershaw, state Reps. Todd Rutherford and James Smith of Richland, and state Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter of Orangeburg are listed as hosts of Wednesday’s Fanning fundraiser.
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“These are serious allegations that have been raised against Mike Fanning,” Moore said. “Parents are alarmed that he remains on the ballot and could actually serve in our state Senate. It is time for Democrat leaders to repudiate Mike Fanning and his dangerous campaign.”
Malloy, an attorney who is representing Fanning, said the allegations are unsubstantiated and appear “clearly orchestrated” ahead of the Nov. 8 election.
“What the Republicans are asking is not for us to distance ourselves from my client but rather to distance ourselves from the Constitution and the very foundation of our criminal justice system,” Malloy said. “I am happy to stand with him while he gets his chance to address the allegations and happy to stand with our Constitution.”
S.C. Democrats have called several times for the state’s Republican leaders to repudiate their party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, who has been accused of groping women. The GOP leaders have declined.