Charged with harassing his ex-girlfriend, S.C. Rep. Thad Viers, 33, of Myrtle Beach has announced he is withdrawing from the upcoming 7th District Congressional race and would not seek reelection, following his arrest on Friday.
"As of today, I am withdrawing from the race for South Carolina’s new 7th Congressional District due to personal reasons, and I will not be a candidate for any office in 2012," Viers said in a statement emailed to the media.
"While I had hoped to join South Carolina’s conservative congressional delegation in fighting back against Washington’s out-of-control spending spree, now is not the time. Instead, I will focus on building my law practice and advocating free market principles here in Horry County."
According to the Myrtle Beach Police Department website, Viers is charged with charged with first degree harassment.
The charges stem from a report filed by Viers' 28-year-old ex-girlfriend, Candace Bessinger. The victim told police she broke off her relationship with him in June or July of 2011, but Viers continued to call, text and email, according to an incident report on the police department's website. The victim also told police he had shown up at her home and also at her place of employment, according to the report.
In the report, the victim told police she had asked Viers multiple times to stop calling, but was reluctant to do anything because she did not want to hurt his reputation or career, if the information were to be made public.
On Dec. 16, an officer found Viers near the victim's home and told him to abide by the victim's requests not to contact her. The victim did not press charges.
On Dec. 22, Viers again allegedly contacted the victim by email and also used a mutual acquaintance's cell phone to text the victim on Dec. 31.
The victim gave police a three-ring binder containing extensive documentation of Viers' contact with her.
According to the report, the victim and her attorney sent Viers a no contact demand prior to him contacting the victim on Dec. 16. The victim's father also sent a no contact demand to Viers, when he returned tickets to a sporting event that Viers had sent to him.
In June 2007, Viers pleaded no contest and received a $500 fine for threatening the life of his estranged wife’s lover, James Zeigler, according to a WIS-TV report.
Viers, a fifth-term South Carolina State Representative, had announced in August he would run for Congress in South Carolina's new 7th Congressional District.