Rep. Todd Atwater Announces Attorney General Bid

Rep. Todd Atwater, R-Lexington, announced on the State House steps Wednesday his run for attorney general.

Atwater is taking aim at current Attorney General Alan Wilson, a fellow Republican from Lexington County, who is running for his third term in office.

The crux of Atwater's campaign is to stymie corruption in Columbia, something he says the current attorney general can't do since he removed himself from the ongoing State House corruption probe citing a conflict of interest.

"We're going to stop this public corruption and we're going to hit it at it's core," Atwater said. "Whether you're a dogcatcher or you're the governor of South Carolina, you're on notice that the AG is paying attention and we're going to stop this."

The corruption probe led to the resignation and guilty pleas for misusing campaign funds charges and a misconduct in office charge against former House Speaker Bobby Harrell, R-Charleston, and Rep. Jim Merrill, R-Charleston, respectively.

Sen. John Courson, R-Richland, was accused of funneling some $130,000 from his campaign account through the political consulting firm Richard Quinn and Associates. Richard Quinn, Sr., owner of RQ&A, and his son Rep. Rick Quinn, R-Lexington, have also been indicted.

Atwater, 51, was first elected to his House seat in 2010.