UPDATED March 27, 2:33 p.m.: Patch has learned that Akbar was hired by a volunteer staffer. Full story here.
In the week since his surprising second-place finish to Mark Sanford in the Republican primary for the first Congressional District, Curtis Bostic and his social media presence has kept a low profile.
That changed on Monday.
Most of the social media for Bostic's campaign since the start has appeared to be handled by Bostic's son, Daniel, who has a significant presence on Twitter.
But on Monday, political consultant and convicted felon Ali Akbar emerged in vocal support of Bostic's campaign. Akbar and the Bostic campaign differ on whether the two are working together.
After getting many of his followers to promote the #TrustCurtis hashtag on Twitter, Akbar got into a spirited debate with Sanford consultant Wesley Donehue, during which he claimed to be working on behalf of Bostic through the firm Vice and Victory. A portion of their conversation is attached to this article via screen shot.
Akbar's "work" for Bostic raised a few eyebrows, given his criminal history.
Akbar was convicted in 2006 of credit card theft and fraud in Tarrant County, Texas. He was placed on four years probation. Screen shots of the court records relating to the case are attached to this article.
Akbar confirmed that he had been convicted and referred to himself as a "punk kid" at the time. He was 20 years old. He gave his version of events on his Facebook page in June 2012. They can be viewed HERE.
When Patch asked Akbar about his relationship to Bostic, he said via message, "I'm not working directly on the campaign, my firm has a contract and I myself am very much supporting Curtis Bostic."
But David O'Connell, who manages Bostic's campaign, told Patch via email: "This person does not speak for the Bostic campaign and any reports to the contrary are erroneous. If he has a contract, it's not with me or with anyone else from our campaign."
Akbar said he has never met Bostic, but calls into the district showed that spending was the No. 1 issue among voters. Akbar also confirmed that he owns Vice and Victory, a firm that helps run and coordinate a network of conservative bloggers.
The Sanford campaign was not available for comment on this story.