SC Politics

Follow-Up File: The Jeff Duncan Saga

Another “days of our Congressman” drama heats up … on multiple fronts.

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A week ago today, our media outlet broke the news of a court filing submitted by Melody Hodges Duncan – wife of seventh-term U.S. congressman Jeff Duncan. This filing alleged that Duncan – a devout social conservative who has built his political career on the altar of family values – was hypocritically pursuing at least one extramarital affair privately while publicly touting his Christian marriage.

According to the filing (.pdf), Duncan allegedly “admitted to … an ongoing sexual relationship” with a lobbyist named Liz Williams. This news outlet exclusively confirmed the woman referenced by the complaint was Jackson, Mississippi native and former National Rifle Association (NRA) lobbyist Liz Williams.

“As recently as August 28, 2023, defendant hosted a ‘Faith and Freedom BBQ’ where he spoke to the crowd, among other things, about his marriage to (Melody) – calling her a supportive and loving wife and portraying an image of himself as a dedicated, dutiful husband,” the complaint alleged. “Upon information and belief, (Jeff Duncan) then left the next day and went directly to the home of his paramour, Liz Williams, in the Washington, D.C. area.”

The filing also referenced Duncan having committed adultery with “at least one other woman” – although it did not identify her. Additionally, this news outlet has been provided with the names of several women alleged to have been romantically linked to Duncan – however at this point in time we are declining to name them.

Several things have happened as this story has unfolded over the course of the last seven days …

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For starters, after keeping his silence for nearly a week – even as the story was being picked up by multiple national media outlets – Duncan finally addressed the allegations. On Wednesday afternoon, he took to social media to issue his first comments – or rather non-comments – on the situation.

“My family is dealing with a difficult and private moment and I’m not going to comment on a deeply personal matter,” Duncan wrote on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter. “My focus is fighting on behalf of the people of South Carolina’s third district as we stare down the barrel of a government shutdown as the liberal extremists try forcing us to continue spending beyond our means. I am proud to have one of the most conservative voting records in all of Congress, and that is the approach I will continue taking on behalf of my constituents to fight back against this fiscal insanity.”

On the day after Duncan issued his statement, Politico – a Washington, D.C.-based publication – reported that the powerful congressman’s paramour had been terminated from her position as a lobbyist for a medical data company called Sync.MD.

“We engaged Ms. Liz Williams in 2022 having originally been introduced in 2018 by a former Member of Congress,” a Sync.MD representative said in a statement provided to Politico. “Representative Duncan did not connect Sync.MD with Ms. Williams and we made the decision to hire her based on her expertise with small businesses and experience with the Department of Defense. We appreciate her assistance and wish her well. Our top priority and foremost objective is the continued growth and expansion of Sync.MD.”

Citing this report, senior Politico reporter Jonathan Martin noted “this is closer to a congressional ethics matter now.”

Really?

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Martin did not elaborate on his cryptic comment, however Duncan wouldn’t be the first philandering social conservative politician from South Carolina to find himself the subject of ethical scrutiny. As this news outlet reported a year ago, U.S. representative William Timmons‘ extramarital drama attracted the attention of the House ethics committee – although their inquiries appear to have ceased once “Republicans” seized control of the chamber following the November 2022 elections.

Timmons’ scandal has continued to dominate headlines in the socially conservative Upstate region of South Carolina for the past year-and-a-half, however, in no small part due to the congressman’s petulance and pusillanamy.

As for the political fallout from Duncan’s scandal, so far he has managed to avoid any serious repercussions.

Several state lawmakers – led by S.C. senator Richard Cash – have indicated they are considering challenging Duncan in a 2024 GOP primary, however none have formally taken the leap. Cash did post an excoriation of Duncan on his Facebook page on Monday evening, though.

“It was sad and disturbing to learn of Rep. Duncan’s adulterous affairs,” Cash wrote. “Sad to see another marriage and family devastated by infidelity. And disturbing, within the context of his Christian political profile and annual Faith & Freedom event.”

Cash urged “prayer” for all involved, but quickly added “prayer cannot be the end of this matter.”

“While all Christians fall short at times, the scale of hypocrisy and breach of trust in this instance is simply appalling and unacceptable,” Cash wrote, urging Duncan to “repent before God, resign immediately, and make every effort to be reconciled to your wife and children.”

While Duncan has made no public statement regarding his future plans, this media outlet has shared information based on our conversations with sources close to the congressman.

Duncan, 57, of Greenville, S.C. was first elected to the U.S. Congress in 2011 – replacing former representative Gresham Barrett. As I noted last week, he has been a generally reliable conservative vote – as well as a pro-free market leader on energy issues.

In fact, his leadership on this issue led to him being named chairman of the powerful U.S. House subcommittee on energy, climate and grid security. Earlier this year, our media outlet praised Duncan for his work on a key pipeline issue.

“Duncan is the politician driving the Palmetto State’s energy policy debate – with a seat at the table in Washington, D.C. and at all the key meetings back home,” we noted in a recent edition of our Palmetto Political Stock Index.

As of June 30, 2023, Duncan had an estimated $830,000 in his campaign account, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Our sources indicate that number will likely be north of $1 million when the third quarter filings are announced early next month.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Will Folks (Dylan Nolan)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven (soon to be eight) children.

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6 comments

Self Help for Narcissists September 29, 2023 at 10:43 am

It’s actually pretty easy not to cheat on your wife. Here’s some great tips.

* Don’t seek out partners to have affairs with.

* If you get propositioned, say no.

* Remember your wife and kids actually exist and will be pretty hurt.

* Try not being an entitled, selfish, hypocritical asshole.

Reply
davismcclam Top fan September 29, 2023 at 11:48 am

Well……. at least you ain’t writing no colom on Lindsey having an affair with a female lobbyist.

Reply
Rebecca Shields Top fan September 30, 2023 at 8:14 am

Congressional ethics matter??? Sleeping around does not come close to all the other ethics problems in SC or DC

Reply
Corporate Masters October 2, 2023 at 8:33 am

Jeff’s busy screwing his taxpayer constituents as well as the country at large, one or two women outside of his marriage is of little consequence I suppose.

Reply
Tom October 2, 2023 at 5:02 pm

Republican Family Values. We have 6 Republican Representatives. Two are currently involved in extramarital affairs; a third has been married and divorced twice and now has a live-in lover, That is half the Republican delegation. Of course, this is nothing new. Look at our former Republican representative, godly Mark; a real family values guy there. In the meantime, all six support a guy for President, who has cheated on all three of his wives multiple times; who openly admits to groping women without their consent; who has expressed lust for his daughter; who admitted walking around in the dressing rooms of the Miss. American pageant hoping to get a look at all of the young girls with their clothes off (while he was married); and who was found by a jury to have sexually assaulted a lady in a New York department store. I just don’t think I can stomach any more Republican Family Values.

Reply
Gosdlayer October 4, 2023 at 11:23 am

To Republicans “family values” doesn’t mean fidelity to your spouse or refraining from sexual harassment; it means hatin’ on the gays.

Reply

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