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Mark Sanford wins S.C. 1st Congressional District seat

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 8:37 PM
Last updated Wednesday, May 8, 2013 1:41 AM
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CHARLESTON, S.C. — Former Republican South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford revived a scandal-scarred political career by winning back his old congressional seat Tuesday in a district that hasn't elected a Democrat in three decades.

The comeback was complete when he defeated Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the sister of political satirist Stephen Colbert. With 87 percent of the precincts reporting, Sanford had 54 percent of the vote.

Sanford, who turns 53 later this month, has never lost a race in three runs for Congress and two for governor. And he said before the votes were counted Tuesday that if he lost this race, he wouldn't run for office again.

"I think you can go back in and you can ask for a second chance in a political sense once," he said Tuesday after voting in the special election.

Sanford saw his political career disintegrate four years ago when he disappeared for five days, telling his staff he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. He returned to admit he had been in Argentina with his mistress — a woman to whom he is now engaged. Sanford later paid a $70,000 ethics fine, the largest in state history, for using public money to fly for personal purposes. His wife, Jenny, divorced him.

Green Party candidate Eugene Platt also ran.

Sanford's 1st District, slightly reconfigured from the one he held for three terms in the 1990s, is strongly Republican and Mitt Romney took it by 18 points in last year's presidential race. But Sanford had to battle against his own past indiscretions and a well-financed campaign mounted by Colbert Busch in which she outraised her Republican rival.

Three weeks before the special election, news surfaced that Sanford's ex-wife had filed a court complaint alleging he was in her house without permission in violation of their divorce decree, leading the National Republican Congressional Committee to pull its support from the campaign. Sanford must appear in court Thursday on the complaint.

Sanford said he tried to get in touch with his ex-wife and was in the house so his youngest son would not have to watch the Super Bowl alone.

The seat became vacant when U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint resigned from his Senate seat late last year. Governor Nikki Haley then appointed the sitting congressman, Tim Scott, to fill DeMint's seat.

Colbert Busch had said after she voted in Mount Pleasant, across the Cooper River from Charleston, that she felt positive and encouraged. But in the end, despite Sanford's past being an issue for some voters, she was defeated.

Gabriel Guillard, 49, a massage therapist and teacher, said she liked Colbert Busch but would have voted for anyone but Sanford.

"I would do anything to make sure Mark Sanford doesn't get back in because of his past behavior," she said. "And I am so tired of South Carolina being a laughingstock. I'm so sick of it."

Others didn't let the past dictate. Marion Doar, 79 and retired from careers in the military and business, said he voted for Sanford.

"Sanford was a fine fellow," he said. "He still is a fine fellow. Following his heart as he did was foolish but it happens."

Sanford already has survived a 16-way GOP primary with several sitting state lawmakers and Teddy Turner, the son of media magnate Ted Turner. He also won the primary runoff. Colbert Busch defeated perennial candidate Ben Frasier with 96 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary.

Colbert Busch, 58, picked up the endorsement of The Post and Courier over the weekend. The Charleston newspaper called her "a welcome tonic" for those who suffer from "Sanford Fatigue — a malady caused by overexposure to all of the cringe-worthy details of his 2009 disgrace as governor, his ongoing efforts for redemption via the political process, his resurgent personal problems, etc."

Sanford, despite losing national GOP support, picked up the endorsement of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a tea party favorite who is well-known in the district.

Comments (41) Add comment
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juantez
243
Points
juantez 05/07/13 - 08:44 pm
1
0
Just Amazing
Unpublished

Amazing!!!!

Riverman1
84926
Points
Riverman1 05/07/13 - 08:52 pm
7
3
Told Y'all He Is Special

He is simply too honest for his own good.

itsanotherday1
43793
Points
itsanotherday1 05/07/13 - 09:04 pm
8
3
His opponent was leading a

His opponent was leading a few days ago, but I think people realized the dirty crap being played on him about the son and superbowl.

His infidelity is what it is and if people want to overlook it, then so be it; he is not my representative. However, I see the brou-ha-ha over his visiting with his son as vindictiveness designed to derail his election.

floridasun
310
Points
floridasun 05/07/13 - 09:13 pm
8
10
I love Republican family

I love Republican family values

faithson
5193
Points
faithson 05/07/13 - 09:34 pm
9
7
Awesome and perfect example

Awesome and perfect example of the hypocracy on the right. All those good christians who tout family values have met their waterloo. can't talk one way and live another, unless of course, your a values oriented republican. perfect example of how incoherent the republican party has become. stooges in the demise of a once great party, the head stooge being; Mark Sanford, a man who gave up the personal parenting of his 5 young boys so that he could romance the woman of his dreams... just how unprincipled and amoral can a man be ? The hate in the hearts of these republican voters who elected Mark is on display... I wanta hear an honest christian defend him. go for it, but remember how you can't sleep with dogs and not get fleas.

allhans
23773
Points
allhans 05/07/13 - 09:32 pm
7
5
Congratulations to Mark

Congratulations to Mark Sanford. May he serve his constituents well.

hwduncan
57
Points
hwduncan 05/07/13 - 09:41 pm
5
5
Too small for a republic, too large for an insane asylum.

Congressman James L. Petigru stated, "South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum." I wonder what Mr. Petigru, who died in 1863, would think of his native state tonight. Had he lived to see the reign of Governor "Pitchfork" Ben Tillman, the conviction of congressman John Jenrette who once made love to his wife on the steps of the US Capitol, and the election today of Mark Sanford to the 1st district seat, would Petigru have changed his mind? And if so, into which category would he relegate it?

fedex227
11187
Points
fedex227 05/07/13 - 10:19 pm
10
1
To the SC 1st congressional district,
Unpublished

congratulations, now you have your very own 'Bill Clinton'. How proud you must feel. Of course I could care less one way or the other what a person does in their personal life as long as it doesn't effect anyone else - but then again, I'm not a hypocrite.

Riverman1
84926
Points
Riverman1 05/07/13 - 10:21 pm
5
1
HwDuncan

HwDuncan, I believe you talked all about Democrats, and not Republican Mark Sanford?

triscuit
3099
Points
triscuit 05/07/13 - 10:29 pm
11
3
Wow Dems...You didn't have a

Wow Dems...You didn't have a problem electing Clinton for 2 terms in spite of HIS marital indescetions.

dwb619
94868
Points
dwb619 05/07/13 - 10:30 pm
4
1
dang

Now I'll be dreaming about RITA again.

Dixieman
15331
Points
Dixieman 05/07/13 - 10:59 pm
11
6
DIXIEMAN IS GIVING MARK SANFORD HIS POINTS

Well, we conservatives also believe in the power of confession of sin, atonement, repentance and forgiveness. Mark Sanford is a good man with the power of his convictions. He will advance beyond this Congressional seat in a few years. (The only thing his opponent had going for her was her name and some out of State money). Democrats posting here are just bitter and jealous.

Frank I
1191
Points
Frank I 05/07/13 - 11:05 pm
4
5
He'll be submitting a bill

He'll be submitting a bill for marriage equality in SC, and if he's not supported by ALL of the *cough*Republican's*cough* they're quite obviously hypocrites..

nocnoc
43451
Points
nocnoc 05/07/13 - 11:12 pm
9
2
This is a good example of

How much Conservatives are willing to put up with to keep OBAMA and the Social Democrats from gaining seats and power.

fedex227
11187
Points
fedex227 05/07/13 - 11:33 pm
8
7
"We conservatives also believe in the power of
Unpublished

of confession of sin."

In the words of Dana Carvey/The Church Lady ... "How Convenient."

faithson
5193
Points
faithson 05/07/13 - 11:44 pm
4
6
dixie

think you may need some 'itching' powder. don't think you understand just how ludicrious your biblical explanation is. That kind of excuse is exactly what diminishes the views many have on OUR christian religion.

GiantsAllDay
9695
Points
GiantsAllDay 05/08/13 - 12:31 am
8
6
The first time he made South

The first time he made South Carolinians look like fools. Today, they did it to themselves.

Bodhisattva
6307
Points
Bodhisattva 05/08/13 - 04:26 am
6
6
How nice

Now Mark can again hang out at the C Street Center with the other "Christian" members of The Family. At least until time starts taking its toll and he can disappear, excuse me- hike the Appalachian Trail, and reappear with the new, improved, younger model on his arm. He'll then say he know he's done wrong, and that he's so sorry. He'll look down at the ground a lot with puppy dog eyes so you know he's sincere. He'll throw in the forgiving side of religion, even through when it came to anyone else all he did was cast stones and pass judgment as if he was God himself. In the end, it's South Carolina and he has an (R) beside his name. The voters will pull the lever beside his name because they know he'll vote against those evil homersexurals and will vote to save marriage just the way God planned it. That is if God was jetting off to Argentina while Mrs. God was stuck in South Carolina.

wildman
1142
Points
wildman 05/08/13 - 04:33 am
7
5
Right Decision

We have all made mistakes in our life. He made his and he paid for it, the people of his district have spoken and that's the way it is. They elected him because they thought he was best man for job. The rest of us need to get over it and move on. For what it's worth, I would have voted for him. Now, who care's what I think. Nobody!

karradur
2854
Points
karradur 05/08/13 - 04:38 am
5
6
...

Bill Clinton: "IMPEACH HIM HE IS A LIAR AND A HORRIBLE PERSON"

Mark Sanford: "GOSH EVERYONE MAKES MISTAKES LOL"

karradur
2854
Points
karradur 05/08/13 - 04:40 am
6
5
Republicans are for traditional family values.

Except when it's politically expedient.

Which is all the time.

Cadence
219
Points
Cadence 05/08/13 - 05:01 am
7
2
I'm a Republican and

I wish you would stop with the childish name calling. I left the nyah nyah nyah on the kindergarten playground. I came here to agree that we can't say anything about Democrats who vote for the same people regardless of their adulterous, hypocritical and felonious behavior. We are doing the same thing and our state and country are sinking fast because of it.

carcraft
26262
Points
carcraft 05/08/13 - 06:26 am
6
3
Those on the left can say

Those on the left can say what they want about Mark Sanford! Unfortunately what is becoming more usual, and has happened in so many races, the Democrat in this race does have a mug shot to go along with the rest of her resume! Then the little hypocrite blasts Sanford's indiscretions..... LOL

TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 05/08/13 - 06:40 am
1
0
the first word that comes to
Unpublished

the first word that comes to mind is "disgusting".

soapy_725
43686
Points
soapy_725 05/08/13 - 06:56 am
1
0
SC--50th in everything but
Unpublished

tattoos and cigarette smoking. Number one in both.

InChristLove
22480
Points
InChristLove 05/08/13 - 07:28 am
7
2
What's the matter

What's the matter Bod...(Techfan), can't stand it that a man can be truly sorry, seek forgiveness, and evidently the people of SC (or most of them) are willing to give him a second chance. If in the future his walk doesn't follow his talk, then I'd say people have a right to dog him.

Karradur......I believe Bill Clinton got his second chance when they let him stay in office after being impeached.

At least Mr. Sanford was honest about his infidelity where as it took Clinton four years to admit he had an inappropriate relationship with Lewinsky and never said he had sex with her. There are many ways to have an "inappropriate relationship".

my.voice
4867
Points
my.voice 05/08/13 - 07:39 am
3
1
Hide yo wives!

Hide yo wives!

Bodhisattva
6307
Points
Bodhisattva 05/08/13 - 07:45 am
2
6
Why?

Contempt of court citation because her abusive first husband ( A television star who had the honor of appearing on "America's Most Wanted". No way he could be a shady character.) claimed she was keeping the kids away from him. She said she'd do it again and I don't blame her. Keep kids away from wanted criminal vs. leave state and don't tell anyone where you're going, use state money for personal use, break in to house using cell phone as light, lie about Appalachian Trail, hottie on the side, have affair after Bible thumping over Clinton, and maybe a few others, yet she's a hypocrite. ItLOL.

InChristLove
22480
Points
InChristLove 05/08/13 - 07:54 am
7
2
Oh Bod.... believe you are

Oh Bod.... believe you are incorrect. It was proven that he did NOT break into the house, his son allowed him in, and a lot of people use their cell phone for a flash light.

I might be mistaken but I didn't think the Congressional District seat should be determined based on your personal life but your professional one. I'm assuming the people of SC think Mark's political and professional business outweighed his running mates professional and political experience. I've heard I don't know how many Dem's quote.....stay out of peoples "personal lives and bedrooms".

JENNPAT
241
Points
JENNPAT 05/08/13 - 08:08 am
4
2
why is it everyone forgave

Bill Clinton for what he done and just turn their heads at what he done and it was done in the White House that to me was really bad but our people let him keep leading our country and he was good at leading our country The Bible will tell you everyone can be forgiven for your sins So all i have to say is Mark Standford needs to get on his knees and ask God to forgive him for what he has done if he had not done so. and people need to leave him alone Even though what he done was bad he was good for South Caroline

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