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      Ethics woes leave Ard's donors with regrets

      By JIM DAVENPORT

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Some of Lt. Gov. Ken Ard's campaign donors have expressed regret after pumping more than $500,000 into a winning campaign last year that now is overshadowed by a grand jury's ethics investigation.

      James McCracken and his wife gave Ard $7,000. He said Friday that Ard should resign.

      France Marion political science professor and GOP activist Neal Thigpen gave Ard more than $1,600 and says he has regrets after helping launch Ard's campaign.

      On Wednesday, Attorney General Alan Wilson asked the state grand jury to decide whether questions raised by an ethics investigation merit criminal prosecution. Ard has paid a $48,000 fine to the Ethics Commission on 107 civil counts of breaking state campaign finance laws by using campaign cash for personal expenses including a family vacation, football tickets and iPads.

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