Ex-S.C. Gov. Sanford wins runoff

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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. — Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford on Tuesday cleared another hurdle in his bid for political redemption, defeating a former Charleston County council member to win the GOP nomination for the U.S. House seat he held for three terms.

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Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford thanks his fiance, Maria Belen Chapur, as he addresses supporters in Mount Pleasant, S.C., after winning the GOP nomination for the U.S. House seat he once held.   BRUCE SMITH/ASSOCIATED PRESS
BRUCE SMITH/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford thanks his fiance, Maria Belen Chapur, as he addresses supporters in Mount Pleasant, S.C., after winning the GOP nomination for the U.S. House seat he once held.

With all precincts reporting, Sanford had about 57 percent of the vote to 43 percent for Curtis Bostic. The candidates were vying in the GOP runoff after they finished as the top two vote-getters in a 16-way GOP primary last month.

Sanford will face Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert, and Green Party candidate Eugene Platt in a May special election.

“It’s been a very long journey. And in that journey I am humbled to find ourselves where we find ourselves tonight,” said Sanford, whose political career was derailed four years ago when, as sitting governor, he disappeared from the state only to return to acknowledge an extramarital affair with an Argentine woman, Maria Belen Chapur.

After the revelation of the affair, Sanford’s wife Jenny divorced him and wrote a book.

Chapur and Sanford are now engaged. She appeared at Sanford’s side during his victory speech, smiling and applauding the former governor, who thanked her for being long-suffering while he was campaigning. She did not address the crowd.

“I want to thank my God,” Sanford said. “I used to cringe when somebody would say I want to thank my God because at that point I would think this is getting uncomfortable. But once you really receive God’s grace and (have) seen it reflected in others you stop and acknowledge that grace and the difference He has made in my life and in so many lives across this state and across this nation.”

Colbert Busch released a statement late Tuesday saying “I look forward to a vigorous campaign that focuses on creating jobs, balancing our country’s budget and choosing an independent-minded leader who shares the values of the great people of South Carolina.”

Sanford, a former three-term congressman and two-term governor, said earlier Tuesday that the runoff would give a good indication whether voters have moved past his personal indiscretions.

“I’m both humbled and grateful for the response of the voters here tonight,” he said later.

Sanford was a rising Republican political star before he vanished from South Carolina for five days in 2009. Reporters were told he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, but the then-married governor later tearfully acknowledged he was visiting Maria Belen Chapur, which he told everyone at a news conference announcing his affair. He later called her his soul mate and the two were engaged earlier last year.

Before leaving office as governor, Sanford avoided impeachment but was censured by the Legislature over state travel expenses he used for the affair. He also had to pay more than $70,000 in ethics fines – still the largest in state history – after Associated Press investigations raised questions about his use of state, private and commercial aircraft.

The opening for Sanford came after U.S. Rep. Tim Scott was appointed to fill the remaining two years of U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint’s seat. DeMint resigned to head The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

Mark Sanford knows the 1st District well. Elected to the seat in 1994 – Jenny Sanford managed his first campaign and was a close adviser for most of his career – he served three terms before voters elected him governor in 2002.

Jenny Sanford was considered a race of her own in the Republican-leaning congressional district along the state’s southern coast when Mark Sanford signaled that he planned to run. Jenny Sanford passed on the race.

In last month’s GOP primary, Bostic collected only about 13 percent of the vote, narrowly defeating state Sen. Larry Grooms for second place. But he had less than two weeks to overcome Sanford’s high name recognition.

During a televised debate, he took a jab at Sanford, saying “a compromised candidate is not what we need” in the race against Colbert Busch.

Sanford acknowledged he “failed very publically” but said he had done a lot of soul searching since then. He added, “Not since Jesus Christ was here has there been a perfect man or woman.”

He said that after Scott was appointed, people kept encouraging him to run.

Sanford said they told him “here is your chance for you to learn, not only from your experience in Congress and the governorship, but more significantly what you learned both on the way up and the way down and apply it to what is arguably one of the great conundrums of our civilization, which is how do we get our financial house in order.”

One of those in attendance at the debate was Barbara Boilston, a 49-year-old paralegal from Charleston. She talked about Sanford’s indiscretions.

“I believe he has come full circle,” she said. “I believe he has found peace with God. If God forgives, I forgive, and we should go forward and put this man back in office.”

Bostic said earlier Tuesday that he liked his chances as he visited with voters in a suburban Charleston precinct.

“People dismiss us,” the attorney and retired Marine said. “But we believe strongly the best way to win elections is through relationships and we have worked really hard to do that.”

Bostic himself did not vote in the GOP runoff on Tuesday because he can’t.

His residence near Ravenel, S.C., is in the 6th Congressional District, represented by U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, about 1,500 yards from the 1st District line. Bostic’s law office, other property, church and children’s schools are in the district. Under federal law, to run for the U.S. House, one only need to be a resident of the state in which the district is located, not the district itself.

Comments (15) Add comment
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allhans
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allhans 04/02/13 - 10:21 pm
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Congratulations to Mr.

Congratulations to Mr. Sanford...Now the May election..

fedex227
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fedex227 04/02/13 - 11:13 pm
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“I want to thank my God,” Sanford said.
Unpublished

Or as some of us like to refer it ... the Marion Barry effect.

Bodhisattva
5943
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Bodhisattva 04/03/13 - 04:16 am
5
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The dude just screams

The dude just screams integrity doesn't he?

Dixieman
14171
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Dixieman 04/03/13 - 07:41 pm
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DIXIEMAN HAS ARGENTINE POINTS

Nice victory. Now on to the general election and good luck!!
P.S. His fiancee is hot!

my.voice
4702
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my.voice 04/03/13 - 08:09 am
5
2
There once was a time when a

There once was a time when a man would do the right thing, step down, and move on quietly in life. I guess that time is gone.

Mavis Black
42
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Mavis Black 04/03/13 - 08:29 am
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HARD TO BELIEVE

CAN WE TRUST HIM TO NOT SLIP OFF WITHOUT NOTICE

nanowerx
1306
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nanowerx 04/03/13 - 08:41 am
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2
Ridiculous

If South Carolina wanted to waste their own money and elect him to a state senate spot, that is one thing, but to actually vote to send this man to Congress to represent all of us is the biggest farce I have ever seen. The man used taxpayer money to woo his new fiance as he was cheating on his wife and South Carolina wants to give him another job where he handles their money?! I would be laughing if it wasn't so sad.

I am conservative, but I hope Steven Colberts sister, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, smokes Sanford in the general election. I will rally behind an honest Democrat any day of the week over a dishonest Republican!

seenitB4
84984
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seenitB4 04/03/13 - 09:06 am
2
2
Those sad eyes

He needs to tuck up those sad eyes & then he will win the thing..

burninater
9396
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burninater 04/03/13 - 01:21 pm
3
1
Given the option, party

Given the option, party voters have nominated a career politician that misused taxpayer resources for personal gain and neglected his responsibilities to commit adultery. How does one understand this complete reversal of party rhetoric? Is this nomination rational behavior?

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 04/03/13 - 01:35 pm
2
2
"The dude just screams
Unpublished

"The dude just screams integrity doesn't he?"

No less than Clinton, who also misused taxpayer resources for personal gain and neglected his responsibilities to commit adultery. Did you criticize HIM as well? Just asking.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 04/03/13 - 01:44 pm
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I just wish I had a nickel
Unpublished

I just wish I had a nickel for all the times I heard a liberal say "It's just sex...what's the big deal?" I would have so much money that the liberals would hate me even more.

burninater
9396
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burninater 04/03/13 - 02:00 pm
1
2
"The dude just screams

"The dude just screams integrity doesn't he?"

No less than Clinton, who also misused taxpayer resources for personal gain and neglected his responsibilities to commit adultery. Did you criticize HIM as well? Just asking.
--------
Interesting, I was not aware of any accusations, much less findings, that Clinton misappropriated taxpayer resources for personal gain.

Noone's going to argue that Clinton's "family values" were largely missing. But Democratic voters aren't consistently and vehemently claiming that the erosion of family values is destroying America. To consistently proclaim such rhetoric, and then turn around and nominate someone who abandoned his post to violate those values, does not appear rational.

Nor does it appear rational to denounce career politicians and the exploitation of taxpayer funds, and then turn around and attempt to return an individual to power who has demonstrated tendencies for both.

Removing him from power was a clear demonstration of standing for the principles that Republicans claim to value. Trying to return him to power completely undermines that demonstration that those values are not merely empty rhetoric.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 04/03/13 - 02:19 pm
2
1
So the expense we as
Unpublished

So the expense we as taxpayers had to pay because of Clinton's proven perjury which he committed for his personal gain doesn't qualify? I see it differently.

As for Sanford.....he gets NONE of my support, and I doubt he will win.... at least I hope he doesn't. I just wonder why the liberals will defend Clinton and not Sanford.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 04/03/13 - 02:21 pm
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1
Returning Obama to power when
Unpublished

Returning Obama to power when his "hope and change" promise left us further in debt, GITMO still open, Wars still waging (and even more wars), Unemployment at record lows, etc etc demonstrates that liberal values are nothing more than merely empty rhetoric.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 04/03/13 - 02:44 pm
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1
"But Democratic voters aren't
Unpublished

"But Democratic voters aren't consistently and vehemently claiming that the erosion of family values is destroying America."

No....they just consistently re-elect criminals and racists and those with zero moral values. That's so much better.

burninater
9396
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burninater 04/03/13 - 03:27 pm
2
2
So in other words, you cannot

So in other words, you cannot explain the Sanford nomination either.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 04/03/13 - 05:23 pm
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Not at all....but nothing I
Unpublished

Not at all....but nothing I posted is untrue either.

Darby
24944
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Darby 04/03/13 - 05:41 pm
2
2
Burn - I can easily explain the Sanford..

nomination. He owes it all to the great pioneer Bubba Clinton who cleared the way for human sleaze and others of low moral character to walk among us all with their heads held high and without a hint of shame or remorse.

Does that answer your question?

burninater
9396
Points
burninater 04/03/13 - 06:51 pm
1
1
So, the voters are not

So, the voters are not accountable for how they cast their vote? The Sanford nomination was just an inevitable consequence of Clinton's behavior 15 years ago?

nanowerx
1306
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nanowerx 04/03/13 - 08:41 pm
1
1
Hypocrites

So Clinton being a sleazebag gives any Republicans a free pass to misappropriate funds and mislead their constituents? Wow, just wow.

I am a conservative, but I am not drinking the koolaid here, any other defense tactics you guys want to use to defend Sanfords irrefutable actions?

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 04/04/13 - 07:55 am
1
0
"So Clinton being a sleazebag
Unpublished

"So Clinton being a sleazebag gives any Republicans a free pass to misappropriate funds and mislead their constituents? Wow, just wow."

How does it feel? Obama supporters have used the "Bush did it" excuse for so long.......isn't turnabout fair play?

nanowerx
1306
Points
nanowerx 04/04/13 - 08:27 am
0
0
...

No it isn't because we are adults and it is childish to have that mindset. This isn't a game, this is our economy at stake. Take the party line politics elsewhere.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 04/04/13 - 08:29 am
1
0
Just pointing out that their
Unpublished

Just pointing out that their are hypocrites EVERYWHERE. I think I made it clear that he gets none of my support. I can't make people vote intelligently. If I could, we would have many different leaders.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 04/04/13 - 08:29 am
1
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"Take the party line politics
Unpublished

"Take the party line politics elsewhere." Let's remember that next time Bush gets blamed for Obama's failures.....OK?

nanowerx
1306
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nanowerx 04/04/13 - 09:56 am
2
0
Bush 2.0

Well, I can't stand Obama, but considering Obama is just a more expensive Bush that supports almost all the same things, I would assume you would love him: Patriot Act, illegal wiretapping, illegal raids, Regulation of the Internet, NDAA, Guantanamo Bay, Torture, more money to the failed War on Drugs, illegal wars, excessive military spending, nation building worldwide, TSA, suspending Habeas Corpus, bailouts, lack of administrative transparency....I am starting to wonder if they are really both pulled by the same strings and it is all just an elaborate joke at this point.

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