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
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)
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(Newser) – "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. (Read more Kentucky stories.)

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