Nikki Haley, Larry Marchant
Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Another man has come forward to say he had an inappropriate sexual encounter with the Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Nikki Haley.
Larry Marchant, a political consultant, told News19 that the two had a physical relationship which only took place once.
Marchant worked as a campaign aide for Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Andre Bauer. Bauer said he asked for and received Marchant's resignation.
Marchant said that he and Haley were together in June of 2008 while the two attended a school choice convention in Salt Lake City, Utah.
"I spent the night with Mrs. Haley," Marchant said. "We had sexual relations. We had sex. I broke the vows of my marriage."
"We had several drinks, we went to dinner, we did go to a couple of bars...you know, it just happened," he said. "It was one time, and one time only."
He says he came forward when he heard Haley deny another allegation of an inappropriate physical relationship.'
"I know she was making some very strong statements about her relationship and it bothered me," Marchanat said. "I just didn't think I could look in the mirror every day and know that I knew something and just keep it to myself."
He says he told his wife about the relationship about eight days before he left Bauer's campaign. He says he did not tell Bauer until this past weekend.
Marchant said he understands that some may be skeptical.
"It's hard to prove an event that just happened unintendent. All I have is my word," he said. "Either they will believe me or they won't."
The back and forth about the campaign touched off the beginning of a debate in Charleston Wednesday night, where she questioned the timing of the report.
"That I'd have been absolutely faithful to my husband for 13 years," she said. "This is the second allegation in 2 weeks time. And it all happened after I started showing I had double digits in the polls. I'm very disappointed in the fact that this campaign has not been on policies. I tried to run a good and respectful campaign. I wish my opponents would have done the same."
The two then got involved in the following exchange:
Bauer: I asked for his resignation when I got information that I was comfortable with and where this campaign is going - I asked for his resignation.
Haley: But Lieutenant Governor you paid him. He was a paid consultant for you.
Bauer: But when I found out that there may be things - that I don't agree with for my campaign - you're right. I paid him to fundraise. When I found out information that could possibly be true, could not be true, I didn't want to associate with that kind of behavior so I ended the relationship.
Haley: But y'all were fishing the story just last night. You didn't fire him then yesterday. It was only when no one would take it seriously because he was a paid consultant that you decided to fire him today.
This is the second accusation of an inappropriate relationship with the GOP frontrunner.
Last week, former Sanford staffer Will Folks said he and Haley had a relationship three years ago, something Haley has denied.
Earlier, News19 contacted Haley's campaign about this latest accusation, and Campaign Manager Tim Pearson released the following statement.
"This is a false and outrageous desperate attack from a losing candidate's paid campaign consultant in the final week of the race. As Nikki Haley rises in the polls, the good old boys in Columbia see their taxpayer-funded fraternity party coming crumbling down, and they will say or do anything to hold onto their power. This is South Carolina politics at its worst. the people of our state deserve better, and when Nikki Haley is governor, they'll get it."
Haley has received several high-profile endorsements in recent weeks, including former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and former South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford.