COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Many South Carolinians watching Thursday night’s GOP debate also saw a television ad blasting former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee for allowing a convicted rapist to be released on his watch.
The ad features Lois Davidson, whose daughter Carol Sue Shields was raped and murdered by Wayne DuMond, after he was released from an Arkansas prison.
"If not for Mike Huckabee, Wayne DuMond would have been in prison and Carol Sue would be with us," Davidson says in the 30-second spot.
The ad was made by a 29-year-old Arkansas Republican, Keith Emis, who tells CNN he saw Davidson on the news last month and contacted her about making an ad.
When she agreed, Emis says he drove from Fayetteville, Arkansas, to her Missouri home to film her.
Initially, Emis posted the ad on an anti-Huckabee internet site he started, called “Huckabeefacts.com.” Two weeks ago, he started a called group called “Victims Voices,” a so-called 527 that allows him to raise unlimited money without disclosing donors.
Emis said that he was able to generate enough donations to purchase television time during Thursday night’s South Carolina debate, a decision he made just three days ago.
Emis will not say how much money he has raised, or how much he spent on the ad, only that he purchased time from several local cable stations carrying the Fox debate.
The controversial DuMond case has dogged Huckabee for years. DuMond was a convicted rapist released from prison a few months after Huckabee became governor in 1996.
Huckabee says it was the parole board’s decision, not his, though he had publicly advocated his release.
After DuMond was released, he raped and murdered Shields.
Her mother first spoke out against Huckabee last month, when the former governor began to surge in the polls. She vowed then to do anything she could to stop him from becoming president.
Emis says he worked on Tim Hutchinson’s failed Senate re-election campaign in 2002.
Hutchinson supports and campaigns for Huckabee.
–CNN's Dana Bash