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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 (39) Add comment
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justthefacts
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justthefacts 05/08/13 - 07:06 am
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2
Just shows

People will vote anything other than a looney Lib.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 05/08/13 - 07:13 am
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When exactly did Bill Clinton
Unpublished

When exactly did Bill Clinton ever admit any wrongdoing or seek any forgiveness?

InChristLove
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InChristLove 05/08/13 - 07:16 am
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HA, the article I read stated

HA, the article I read stated he admitted to an inappropriate relationship but never admitted to having sex and as far as I know never asked for forgiveness.

Truth Matters
8097
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Truth Matters 05/08/13 - 07:25 am
3
1
Not now

I wanted to post something but I think I will leave now for my commute and just pull up a chair with popcorn and soda after work.

This is going to be interesting!

seenitB4
98477
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seenitB4 05/08/13 - 07:25 am
2
3
Congrats Mark

Just keep those toes outta your mouth...especially on tv.

chascushman
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chascushman 05/08/13 - 07:27 am
5
2
ole Alvin Greene the sex offender.
Unpublished

While I have lost all respect for Sanford he is MUCH BETTER than ANY democrat. The best the democrats could do in the last senatorial race was ole Alvin Greene the sex offender.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 05/08/13 - 07:40 am
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3
Sure seems like a case of the
Unpublished

Sure seems like a case of the lesser of two evils to me.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 05/08/13 - 07:49 am
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Polls

This election shows the worthlessness of the polling for profit system. Billions are spent on polls, and what do we get? Jellyfish pollsters. The polls were calling this race "too close to call." Yet Sanford comes in at 54+% in a three-way race!

faithson
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faithson 05/08/13 - 07:56 am
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6
complete embarresment

The man left his wife and 5, I said 5 young boys to engage in a sorid affair of his own choosing. How anyone on these boards can justify his behavior only shows how illegitimate their ideas are when it comes to family/cultural discussions on these boards. Yes, -od forgives, but we here on the mortal plane must reflect upon another's behavior to know their character. To support and elect a man of such poor character only reflects upon those who compromised their expectations in favor of their own predjudices. and yes, these hypocrites are on both sides of the divide.

Young Fred
21145
Points
Young Fred 05/08/13 - 07:55 am
8
2
True conservatives,

would elect a skunk before electing a liberal.

A skunk may stink-up the place, but won't do the damage a liberal is capable of doing.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 05/08/13 - 07:59 am
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Who's trying to justify his
Unpublished

Who's trying to justify his behavior, faithson?

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 05/08/13 - 08:18 am
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4
and that's what I like about

and that's what I like about the south

joytotheworld
59
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joytotheworld 05/08/13 - 08:19 am
5
4
Remember!

Not all of South Carolina had the vote on this one. Just his district. I assure you I would never have voted for him.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 05/08/13 - 08:24 am
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1
David....are you generalizing
Unpublished

David....are you generalizing the entire southern US based on one district in one state?

hwduncan
57
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hwduncan 05/08/13 - 08:27 am
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1
Yellow Dogs and Skunks

An adage of the Old South once was "I'ld vote for a yellow dog before I'ld vote for a Republican." I am amused to see someone suggest an adage of the New South is "I'ld vote for a skunk before I'ld vote for a Democrat." Yellow dogs and skunks at quarrel: the image of their tussle is grand to see - as long as one maintains a healthy distance upwind and away from the din.

chascushman
6653
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chascushman 05/08/13 - 08:37 am
6
2
" To support and elect a man
Unpublished

" To support and elect a man of such poor character only reflects upon those who compromised their expectations in favor of their own predjudices."
faithson, so I guess democrats voting for ole Alvin Greene in the last SC senatorial race was ok with you?

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 05/08/13 - 08:40 am
6
1
" To support and elect a man
Unpublished

" To support and elect a man of such poor character only reflects upon those who compromised their expectations in favor of their own predjudices. [sic]"

Alvin Greene, Marion Barry, Bill Clinton, Robert Byrd......it's all ok.

chascushman
6653
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chascushman 05/08/13 - 08:40 am
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1
"and that's what I like about
Unpublished

"and that's what I like about the south"
David, I agree, just take a good look at RC.

faithson
5531
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faithson 05/08/13 - 08:46 am
2
6
gotta love it..

those showing their stripes by leaving out a most important point in my 8:56 posting... the last sentance.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 05/08/13 - 08:51 am
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1
Hmmmmmm....I didn't see
Unpublished

Hmmmmmm....I didn't see anyone leave it out. It just seems that the attitude was more of "and yes, these hypocrites are on both sides of the divide.........everyone but me." I may be wrong, but it sure came across that way. If I'm wrong, then I assume that YOU did NOT vote for Clinton for his second term. Am I right?

justthefacts
25475
Points
justthefacts 05/08/13 - 08:57 am
11
2
Yeah faithson

In the case of all politicians, most times you have to hold your nose while voting. With a few exceptions, they are all scum. At the end of the day, you still have to vote for the scum who will support your political views the best. You admit that Dims do it, yet you are on here bashing Repubs. Little hypocritical, huh?

itsanotherday1
48409
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itsanotherday1 05/08/13 - 09:13 am
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2
Given the choices, what were

Given the choices, what were the conservatives supposed to do? That isn't hypocrisy in any form; it is self preservation. Voting against the Democrat is not condoning, forgiving, or approving of his behavior, it is just that; Voting Against The Democrat.

allhans
24964
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allhans 05/08/13 - 09:23 am
6
2
Some apparently aren't aware

Some apparently aren't aware that the Republican Party turned their back on Sanford and did NOT support him. Only his loyal following in SC along with a few Republican friends gave him support.
He was outspent by huge Democrat donation but yet he pulled it out. GOOD for him...He did it the old-fashioned way, that of getting out and meeting and greeting. It is said that if a person said good morning to him that Sanford would stop and share a few words.
The working man's friend!

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 05/08/13 - 01:49 pm
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Angela, to your point.

Angela, to your point. Sorry, i didn't mean to juxtapose my rhetoric into such intense debate. I'm just comfortable down here, always have been and always will. Too many folks up and leave for California, Colorado, or wherever, and I watch them come and go. The South is so ingrained in my soul that I could never leave. So when I say "That's what I like about the South" it's referencing the cliche as well as the song.

Down where they have those pretty queens
Keep a-dreamin' those dreamy dreams
Well let's sip that absinthe in New Orleans
That's what I like about the South

Applying it to the thread/article. The voters voted and Mark got the win. Love it or hate it, it's the South and nobody is forcing anyone to be here. Guess that's about what I meant by that though. Again, sorry to ramble.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 05/08/13 - 02:05 pm
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1
Just wondering.
Unpublished

Just wondering.

Darby
29471
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Darby 05/08/13 - 10:36 pm
1
1
"I love Republican family values"

Yeah, me too. As I said all during the campaign, "Our sleaze is better than their sleaze."

Even though his morals are a version of "Clinton lite", at least he won't be looking to the Great and Powerful OzBama for directions and permission before each vote.

And kudos to his wife who dumped him. Shows her morals were head and shoulders above Hillary's.

Darby
29471
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Darby 05/09/13 - 04:45 pm
1
0
I just read that Steven Colbert said of his sister's

defeat, "This scares me to my core. I’m shaken."

.

I'm just surprised to learn that Colbert has a core...

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