Two years ago, we would have bet you money that South Carolina attorney general Alan Wilson wouldn’t even make it into a GOP runoff election – let alone picked up nearly fifty percent of the “Republican” electorate on the first ballot.
As we have previously noted, though, Wilson has rehabilitated himself since then … significantly.
He has also benefited from the shadiness of his competitors, including ethically challenged state representative Todd Atwater.
According to the latest returns from the S.C. Election Commission (SCVotes.org), Wilson came up just short of winning the GOP nomination for attorney general on the first ballot – receiving 166,486 out of 342,226 votes counted (48.7 percent).
Assuming that percentage holds when the final tally is certified, Wilson will advance to a June 26 runoff against Atwater – who finished in second place with 101,760 votes (29.7 percent).
Wilson has already receiving the backing of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), which referred to him as the “clear choice for South Carolina.”
“He knows how to do the job and he serves with an energy that is infectious,” said Arkansas attorney general Leslie Rutledge, the group’s leader. “Alan will uphold the rule of law and defend the Constitution and laws of South Carolina. Alan has always focused on safety and creating a regulatory environment that supports our job creators. He has also played a critical role in passing public safety laws.”
Rutledge also praised Wilson for his work to combat opioid abuse and human trafficking.
“I am excited to continue working with Alan and ask everyone in South Carolina to support him in this runoff,” Rutledge said.
Wilson’s campaign wasted little time in pressing its advantage over Atwater, launching a new website – LobbyistLegislator.com – that draws attention to the latter’s hopelessly conflicted “service” in the S.C. General Assembly over the last eight years.
As this news site has meticulously/ repeatedly documented, Atwater is one of the most corrupt politicians the Palmetto State has ever seen – habitually voting on legislation that benefited his employer, the S.C. Medical Association (SCMA). This is the same special interest group which had the audacity to continue paying Atwater hundreds of thousands of dollars after his election to the S.C. House of Representatives in 2010 (money he has yet to fully disclose).
Seriously … it doesn’t get any more cut and dried than this.
This news site first exposed Atwater’s ethically challenged “double-dipping” arrangement several years ago. More recently, we reported on how Atwater routinely failed to recuse himself from voting on SCMA interests. In fact, we noted how he took it upon himself to decide for himself when he should (or shouldn’t) refrain from voting – telling the public this self-policing policy was okay because he had erected a “Chinese Wall” between his public and private offices.
Earlier this year, we exposed how Atwater took it a step further – habitually advocating on behalf of SMCA interests even as he was telling the press he “stayed away” from issues involving the group. Back in March, we reported on questionable raises received by Atwater from the SCMA – raises which came as he was voting on numerous issues near and dear to the heart of his employer (again, something he explicitly told the mainstream media he didn’t do).
“Todd Atwater is a special interest lobbyist, not a prosecutor and he’s never put criminals behind bars,” Wilson campaign manager Mark Knoop said in a news release unveiling the anti-Atwater site.
That’s true …
Readers will recall this news site as being brutal and unrelenting in our criticism of Wilson over the years – and rightfully so. We were shocked by the tone-deafness he displayed during #ProbeGate – an ongoing investigation into corruption in state government. In fact at one point we were so disappointed by his conduct we called on him to resign his office.
But replacing him with Atwater? The literal embodiment of pay-to-play corruption at the S.C. State House?
No thank you …
“He must be held accountable … at the ballot box and by our judicial system,” we wrote of Atwater back in April.
Indeed. And certainly the very last thing we need to do is put a guy like that in charge of all prosecutions in the Palmetto State.
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Banner: Alan Wilson for Attorney General