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Mark Sanford’s Comeback Is On

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Former S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford cruised into the Republican runoff for the Palmetto State’s first congressional district this week – easily outdistancing a crowded GOP field in completing the first step of his comeback bid.

Two more races now await him …

With 100 percent of precincts reporting in the South Carolina Lowcountry, Sanford scored 37 percent of the primary vote in this low-turnout race – better than most pundits expected. Even more encouraging for the former governor, Sanford drew the opponent he wanted in the April 2 runoff – fiscally liberal former Charleston County councilman Curtis Bostic.

If no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote in a South Carolina primary race, the top two finishers face off in a runoff election two weeks later.

Bostic – who doesn’t even live in the first district – narrowly edged fiscally conservative S.C. Sen. Larry Grooms (R-Berkeley) for the second spot in the runoff election, drawing 13 percent of the vote.

Grooms finished with 12 percent – less than 500 votes behind Bostic.

That narrow margin may have saved Sanford’s bacon – as Grooms would have presented the scandal-scarred politician with a much more formidable runoff opponent.

Finishing a disappointing fourth place in the race was Teddy Turner – son of liberal media mogul Ted Turner. Most pre-primary polling had Turner competing for the second runoff spot – much better than the 8 percent he received.

By far the worst performance of the night belonged to S.C. Rep. Chip Limehouse (RINO-Charleston), who finished in seventh place with just 6 percent of the vote despite pumping more than $600,000 of his own money into the race.

Ouch … we can’t wait to see the dollar-per-vote breakdown on that investment.

2013 FIRST DISTRICT GOP PRIMARY RESULTS

Mark Sanford – 19,182 – 37 percent (X- runoff)
Curtis Bostic – 7,149 – 13 percent (X- runoff)
Larry Grooms – 6,656 – 12 percent
Teddy Turner – 4,235 – 8 percent
Andy Patrick – 3,776 – 7 percent
John Kuhn – 3,471 – 6 percent
Chip Limehouse – 3,269 – 6 percent
Ray Nash – 2,504 – 5 percent
Peter McCoy – 865 – 2 percent
Elizabeth Moffly – 529 – 1 percent
Tim Larkin – 390 – 1 percent
Jonathan Hoffman – 358 – 1 percent
Jeff King – 211 – 0 percent
Keith Blandford – 192 – 0 percent
Shawn Pinkston – 154 – 0 percent
Ric Bryant – 86 – 0 percent

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