As was reported on Patch last month, Mark Sanford will run for his old Congressional seat. The former Governor confirmed his bid today in an interview with The National Review. He will make an announcement on Wednesday.
A former aide close to ex-Gov. Mark Sanford has confirmed to Patch that the former governor will seek his former congressional seat in the Lowcountry.
CNN's Peter Hamby was first to report that Sanford will seek the congressional seat in District 1 vacated by Tim Scott's appointment to the U.S. Senate.
The former aide told Patch, "Sanford is dead serious about this run. His dire predictions on America's fiscal future have come true. I wouldn't want to be running against him."
The official announcement is not expected until after Christmas.
Sanford will be the biggest name to enter the SC1 race, an 11-week sprint to a March primary. So far, Teddy Turner is the only Republican who has official declared, although Sen. Larry Grooms (R-Berkelely) and Charleston County Councilman Elliot Summey appear on the brink of entering, as does Rep. Peter McCoy (R-Charleston).
On Wednesday, Rep. Leon Stavrinakis (D-Charleston), removed himself from consideration leading to speculation that Democrats will not mount a serious challenge to the seat.
Sanford entered politics by winning the SC1 seat in 1994 and serving three terms before running successfully for governor in 2002. Sanford will have to resuscitate his image to be successful. A recent poll conducted by Public Policy Polling showed that more disapprove than approve of Sanford (44-40).
Much of Sanford's disapproval stems from his extramarital affair while governor with Maria Belen Chapur, a former television reporter from Argentina. In June 2009, Sanford disappeared from public view, having told his staff that he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. In fact, he was visiting Chapur in Argentina and admitted to it in a hastily-called press conference in the Statehouse lobby. Sanford and Chapur were engaged earlier this year.
Sanford resisted calls for his resignation and impeachment votes in the state legislature against him were defeated. But he was censured and forced to repay the state for funds used to travel to Argentina.
Nevertheless, Sanford will be considered a favorite in SC1 and will be able to raise the type of money needed to run a successful campaign.
Taft Matney, an Upstate Republican consultant told Patch, "Gov. Sanford has kept his federal campaign account open, but what’s yet to be seen his how he’ll do keeping that account full. It’s South Carolina, so I wouldn’t say Gov. Sanford’s return to Congress is completely out of the question, but at the same time, he definitely has an uphill climb."
Michael Mule', a Charleston-based political consultant, was not surprised by Sanford's entry and said, "Our country needs new solutions to today's problems."
Sanford's former wife Jenny was mentioned as a possible choice by Gov. Nikki Haley to replace Scott. She has also been among those talked about as a contender for SC1.