FORMER SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR TO KICK OFF CONGRESSIONAL BID THIS WEEK
It’s official … Mark Sanford is a candidate for the United States Congress (again).
The former three-term U.S. Representative (and two-term South Carolina governor) told FITS he will formally announce his 2013 congressional bid later this week. Sanford is running in a March special election for the first district seat vacated earlier this year by newly appointed U.S. Sen. Tim Scott.
Sanford represented the first district from 1995-2001, during which time he registered one of the most fiscally conservative voting records of any member of Congress. He will no doubt be looking to remind voters of this record during the upcoming campaign.
What is Sanford hoping voters will forget? The tax dollars his gubernatorial administration spent (and later returned) in furtherance of an extramarital affair with his then-lover, now-fiancee Maria Belen Chapur (as well as all the embarrassing soul-searching that followed Sanford’s dramatic confession of the affair).
Does Sanford have a shot? Absolutely … in fact most political observers expect him to be one of the top two finishers in a large GOP primary field, which would qualify him for a spot in a runoff election.
Sanford also scored a major coup when S.C. Sen. Tom Davis (R-Beaufort) declined to run for the first district seat – and endorsed Sanford’s candidacy. Davis – whose favorability ratings in Beaufort (and across the newly drawn first district) are through the roof – was viewed as a strong contender for this seat. However the second-term Senator – who served as Sanford’s chief of staff during the governor’s first term in office – opted against running.
Who else wants this nomination? A ton of people, among them: S.C. Sen. Larry Grooms (R-Berkeley), S.C. Rep. Chip Limehouse (RINO-Charleston), S.C. Rep. Peter McCoy (R-James Island), S.C. Rep. Andy Patrick (RINO-Beaufort), former S.C. Sen. John Kuhn, Charleston businessman Teddy Turner, Charleston attorney Curtis Bostic and former Charleston County School Board member Larry Kobrovsky.
Former S.C. Treasurer Thomas Ravenel has also indicated that he is considering a bid.