By FOX Carolina Staff
GREENVILLE, S.C.Some of Republican gubernatorial hopeful Nikki Haley's opponents denounced smear tactics during a forum in Greenville on Monday night.
The admonishment came after political blogger Will Folks claimed he had an inappropriate physical relationship with Haley, a state representative.
Folks has claimed on his blog, fitsnews.com, that the affair happened while he worked for Haley's campaign in 2007. In another post on his blog, a staff writer claimed that Folks has proof of the relationship.
"The truth in this case is what it is," Folks said in his blog post at fitsnews.com. "Several years ago, prior to my marriage, I had an inappropriate physical relationship with Nikki."
Haley has denied the Folk's claim, saying that she has been faithful to her husband throughout their 13 year marriage. She called the allegation "categorically and totally false" in statement to the media on Monday.
"These attacks, and those sure to follow, are an effort at distraction, but I will keep my focus on what matters, and that is delivering South Carolina's government back to our people," Haley said in the statement.
Haley opened a Greenville Chamber of Commerce forum at the Carolina First Center on Monday night by challenging her primary opponents to promise they will not get involved in smear tactics and personal attacks.
U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett, who is also a Republican gubernatorial hopeful in the upcoming primary, said that he has been the victim of similar attacks and denounced them.
State Attorney General, another Republican gubernatorial hopeful, said that his campaign would have no part in the personal attacks.
Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, also running as a Republican in the governor's race, was not in attendance at Monday night's forum.
The primary is June 8.
A recently released Rasmussen Poll revealed that Haley is leading the Republican ticket for governor ahead of the primary. Haley had 30 percent of respondents support, followed by Attorney General Henry McMaster at 19 percent, Rep. Gresham Barrett at 17 percent and Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer at 12 percent. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percent.
Copyright 2010 by foxcarolina.com. The Associated Press contributed to this story. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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