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Mark Sanford Draws A Challenger




There’s been a lot of talk about which female candidates might run against U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford in 2018, but his first official challenger is a man.

A military man, too … one with a pretty impressive résumé.

Tom Perez – a defense analyst with more than three decades of military and government experience – will run in the June 2018 GOP primary for the first congressional district seat that’s been held by Sanford since May 2013.

Perez lives in Mount Pleasant, S.C. with his wife and two young daughters.  He’s a magna cum laude graduate of The Citadel – earning his business degree at the school on a Montgomery G.I. Bill.  His military service includes eight years on active duty with the U.S. Navy and another thirteen years as a reservist – service which is ongoing.

Additionally, Perez has spent a decade with the U.S. Department of Defense, overseeing more than $10 million in government contracts and leading “a diverse team of government civilians and industry partners to provide vital support to the U.S. submarine fleet,” according to a copy of his biography providing to this website.

Pretty impressive …

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Why is he running?

“I believe that our government’s job is to defend the shores, deliver the mail, and get out of the way – defending the shores being paramount,” he told us. “That is the one common factor that brought the Federalists and Anti-federalists to the bargaining table in order to create our government to begin with.”

According to Perez, he wants to work with newly-elected U.S. president Donald Trump to “rebuild our military,” arguing that recent defense spending cuts have “made our shores vulnerable to attack.”

Hmmm … given the piss poor management at the Pentagon under Barack Obama, we’re not 100 percent sold on the notion that America’s military is underfunded.  And obviously this website is staunchly non-interventionist when it comes to our foreign policy views.

Having said that, defense spending is clearly a core function of government – one that we believe should be funded commensurately based on clearly-defined priorities.

Beyond the safety issue, Perez also argued that recent defense cuts have deprived the Charleston, S.C. economy of roughly $1.6 billion – an economic impact he wants to restore by working with the Trump administration.

Sanford?  He’s been fighting Trump at every step of the way – sparking rumors that the new president may support one of his challengers in the upcoming election cycle.

He should …

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(Via U.S. House)

Sanford dramatically underperformed expectations during his 2016 GOP primary race against former S.C. Rep. Jenny Horne.

Congressional observers expected him to pummel Horne by a 65-35 spread (at least), but he won the race by just ten percentage points.  The fact that Horne wasn’t an especially adept candidate and struggled to raise money only underscored Sanford’s poor showing.

Of interest?  Perez has hired Palmetto Communications’ strategist Jonathan Lubecky – who ran Horne’s race – as one of his advisors.

Lubecky should have no shortage of ammunition to work with when it comes to the former two-term S.C. governor – most notable a looming campaign finance scandal and a curiously unresolved criminal investigation.  Left un-defused, either one of those time bombs could cause major damage to Sanford’s reelection bid.

Our biggest problem with Sanford has nothing to do with his scandals – or his nauseatingly public personal life.  Our beef?  It’s the ongoing erosion of his once principled, persistent limited government ideology.

Once a lonely champion in Washington, D.C. for freedom and free markets, the latest iteration of Congressman Sanford is a typical Washington Republican hack (click here, here and here for our reports chronicling the descent).

We’re not necessarily saying Perez is the guy to replace him, but we are absolutely sure Sanford needs to be replaced – and we look forward to doing anything and everything within our power to help see that he is replaced as soon as possible.

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