Sigh: Mark Sanford Wins South Carolina Republican Primary

Daniel Doherty

4/2/2013 8:26:00 PM - Daniel Doherty

We saw this coming from a mile away, of course, but the results are no less galling:

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has cleared another hurdle in his bid for a political comeback, defeating a former county council member to win the GOP nomination for a vacant U.S. House seat.

With 78 percent of precincts reporting, Sanford had about 58 percent of the vote to 41 percent for Curtis Bostic, a former Charleston County Council member. The candidates were vying Tuesday in a GOP runoff in the 1st Congressional District, which covers the south coast.

Sanford will face Elizabeth Colbert (kohl-BURT') Busch and Green Party candidate Eugene Platt in a May special election. She is the sister of political satirist Stephen Colbert (kohl-BEHR').

Sanford's political career was derailed four years ago by his admission of an extramarital affair.

I, too, believe in redemption. But Sanford’s conduct and serial lying during that now-infamous week he spent “hiking the Appalachian Trail” was beyond the pale. Of course, everyone makes mistakes -- after all, we’re all human -- but I agree with Guy that Sanford has no business running for Congress so soon after what he did. The seat that Sanford is running for -- which was vacated when Rep. Tim Scott was appointed to the United States Senate after the resignation of Jim DeMint -- should be an easy Republican pick-up. The National Journal reported that Mitt Romney received 58 percent of the vote in that district during the last election cycle, but Sanford’s low approval ratings (coupled with the celebrity-esque stature of his opponent) makes him very vulnerable. In other words, if Sanford loses the general election, Republicans have no one to blame but themselves.

For what it’s worth, the election next month will be closely monitored by the national press corps. And yes, the Left will run ad after ad reminding the public why, exactly, Governor Sanford resigned his post as president of the Republican Governors Association in 2009. It’s going to get ugly. But while he may very well go on to win the election -- thus successfully completing his “political comeback” -- his return to politics may in fact do more harm than good to the party he so desperately wants to represent. We’ll see.