Whatever your opinion of Rep. Nikki Haley's candidacy in the June 8 GOP primary, last-minute allegations of an extramarital affair shouldn't be the deciding factor.
Her honesty should.
At an appearance in Myrtle Beach several weeks ago, I asked if she would resign as governor if she screwed up the way Sanford did.
She told me, and the lawyers in the crowd, she wouldn't screw up like that.
Now — just two weeks before the primary and just after a major poll named her the GOP primary front-runner — a former spokesman for Gov. Mark Sanford announces he once had "inappropriate contact" with Haley.
She unequivocally denies an affair with Will Folks. But even if the allegation is true, it should be treated as a personal failing best dealt with by her family and spiritual advisers and closest friends. It should not be enough to undercut her viability as a candidate.
Sanford's affair was big news because of the lengths he went to conduct and hide it. He left the state for several days without telling anyone where he was going or leaving any one in charge.
His actions initially threatened the all-important Boeing project the state eventually landed anyway. He broke or bent a host of ethics and political travel laws. And he said President Clinton should have resigned because of the affair with Monica Lewinsky, branding Sanford a hypocrite who talked family values but didn't live up to his own words.
As a candidate, there are many things I like about Haley.
I like that she has fought for years - even against the powerful of her own party — to make state government more transparent.
I like that she overcame great odds to become a member of the S.C. General Assembly.
To read the complete column, visit www.thesunnews.com.