COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The Republican race for attorney general between candidates Leighton Lord and Alan Wilson is close, and just took a nasty turn. A mysterious new ad has been released which blasts Wilson for his credentials.
As a storm rolled into Aiken on Sunday, so did the Republicans. GOP runoff candidates took the stump making last minute speeches.
"As attorney general I'll use my experience with law enforcement to protect South Carolina," said Lord.
"There's not been an attorney general at least going back 70 years who was not at one point in their life a prosecutor," said Wilson.
But as Wilson fights to win the GOP ticket, a new ad was released from a mysterious group called the "South Carolina Truth Squad." The ad criticizes Wilson for failing the state bar exam on the first try, never having held a management position and being the son of U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson.
Wilson says he does have experience. "Like many people in South Carolina I took the bar a second time, passed it and practiced law ever since and prosecuted cases for six years," Wilson said.
Now Wilson is questioning just who the "Truth Squad" is. "All I know is that the ad comes from a third party in the 11th hour with a fake name, a P.O. Box with no physical address and number that's traced to a throwaway cell phone," he said.
Columbia attorney Todd Kincannon represents the group, but he wouldn't name any actual members. "I am not comfortable identifying any members without their permission due to the fear of personal retribution," Kincannon said.
Lord says his camp had nothing to do with the ad. "Some third party is doing an ad against Alan Wilson, some third party did an ad against me several months ago about the fact that I represented the Boeing company, so I condemn all third party ads, we had nothing to do with it and I really don't know anything about it," denied Lord.
On Saturday, a judge issued a restraining order prohibiting the Truth Squad from airing the ad on the basis that the Truth Squad had not properly filed with the South Carolina Ethics Commission. On Sunday, the state Supreme Court halted the judge's order until a hearing can be held on Monday.
WIS is scheduled to run the ad about Alan Wilson during our broadcasts Sunday and Monday.
We called the number for the Truth Squad listed on the State Ethics Commission website and did not get an answer.