After Lawmaker's Suicide, Widow Will Run for Seat

She slams 'high-tech' lynchings
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2017 4:40 AM CST
After Lawmaker's Suicide, Widow Will Run for Seat
In this file photo from Tuesday, Rep. Dan Johnson addresses the public from his church regarding sexual assault allegations in Louisville, Ky.   (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

"Dan is gone, but his story is far from over," says the widow of Dan Johnson, a Kentucky state lawmaker who killed himself Wednesday night after he was accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl. Rebecca Johnson says she plans to run for the Republican's House seat because "these high-tech lynchings based on lies and half-truths can't be allowed to win the day," the Louisville Courier Journal reports. A special election for the seat is expected in February. Authorities say the 57-year-old lawmaker shot himself in the head at a bridge in a remote area after leaving a Facebook post denying the accusation and saying "HEAVEN IS MY HOME," reports the New York Daily News.

Johnson killed himself two days after the release of a Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting report that exposed the assault allegation, along with what it called a "web of lies" from Johnson, who proclaimed himself "pope" of the Heart of Fire Church, the AP reports. The center said that after a monthslong investigation, it could find no evidence to back up Johnson's claims that he set up a morgue and gave the last rites to hundreds of people at ground zero on 9/11, that he set up "safe zones" during the 1992 LA riots, that he was White House chaplain under three presidents—and that he once raised a woman from the dead. Executive Editor Stephen George says he is "shocked and saddened" by Johnson's death, but he stands by the story. (More Kentucky stories.)

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