The wife of a Kentucky state lawmaker who recently killed himself after he was accused of sexual assault says she will run for his seat.
Rep. Dan Johnson (R-Mount Washington) committed suicide Wednesday amid reports he had molested a teenage girl.
“Dan is gone but the story of his life is far from over,” Rebecca Johnson said in a statement Thursday.
“His fight will go on,” she added. “These high-tech lychings based on lies and half-truths can’t be allowed to win the day.”
Dan Johnson shot himself late Wednesday, two days after leaders of both major political parties started calling for his resignation.
The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting on Monday reported allegations that Dan Johnson sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl in his home basement in 2013.
Police had previously examined the incident at the time and closed the case without filing charges.
The Kentucky Center’s account, however, prompted authorities to re-open their investigation and Dan Johnson to adamantly deny the accusations.
Bullitt County, Kentucky Coroner Dave Billings on Thursday said Dan Johnson died of a single gunshot wound to the head, officially ruling his death a suicide.
Dan Johnson’s family reported him missing after they could not reach him after he posted an ominous Facebook message around 5 p.m. local time Wednesday evening.
“[PTSD] is a sickness that will take my life, I cannot handle it any longer,” he wrote. “It has won this life, BUT HEAVEN IS MY HOME.”
Bullitt County Sheriff Donnie Tinnell on Thursday said that police recovered a 40-caliber pistol by Dan Johnson’s body.
The Louisville Courier-Journal on Tuesday reported that Dan Johnson denied the allegations against him that day, adding that he would not resign amid controversy over the claims.
The pastor – who led Heart of Fire Church in Louisville, Kentucky – said that the allegations against him were politically motivated on account of his conservativism.
“This is an assault on all real people, there’s no perfect people and you get into office and all of a sudden political hacks come against you and start accusing you after you’re in office,” he said.
Dan Johnson was elected to Kentucky’s state legislature in 2016, and he is the latest politician to recently face sexual misconduct allegations amid a global reckoning on the issue.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.