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Mark Sanford to Make Congressional Bid Official

Returning to politics after two year absence.

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.

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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.

Keep up with all of Patch's coverage of South Carolina politics by following us on Facebook HERE and Twitter HERE.

Terri Unknown January 21, 2013 at 04:31 PM
Larry Alexis, I have the same memories of him as you do. Totally agree with you about him.
Larry Alexis January 21, 2013 at 05:45 PM
Ambassador- I guess that makes you a Clinton FANBOY, you keep comparing them and you seem to be in love with one of them, there for - you must be in love with both. Frankly I thought both Clinton and his wife were corrupt as heck. I even wrote him once to tell him not to preach "Family Values" to me. I don't dislike Sanford for "Hiking The Appalacian Trail". I dislike him for what he did to me and mine on a personal level with all his cuts and freezes.
Ambassador January 22, 2013 at 12:34 PM
Your 1/21 reply at least makes sense. Leaving aside all the rhetoric and giving me an honest answer on Sanford. I still think that you and I may be the only people NOT running for this office. What I love is the fact that many of the current politicos are using funds they already have from all their other "races", and literally take it for granted that they will all win. No one will ever convince me that I should ever vote for a dem again--he or she could be the Lord himself but he will never see my vote--the idea that he or she would stand there with Pelosi and her smile just makes me want to puke. The list of repubs is also enough to want me to puke. At least Sanford, whether it hurt your family or not, was truly a skinflint when it came to funding, spending and taxes and his predictions many years ago ring very true today as this country is ready to fall off the bandwagon of greatness thanks to the piece of garbage in the whitehouse.
Frank Zoccola January 22, 2013 at 05:27 PM
to say that sanford is the best governor we ever had, is alittle off line. We have had better, believe me. Of course what we have now is much worse. But i tend to forget this is SC with all their hatred toward the Democratic Party. Johnson is no longer our president. Isnt this where it all began when he made equal rights for everyone.
Larry Alexis January 23, 2013 at 12:50 PM
He may have been right about the looming financial disaster but his approach was totally wrong. You cannot run the government like a business - PEOPLE'S LIVES ARE LITERALLY AT STAKE. The sooner all these politicians realize that the better. You can't just tell people that they need to pull themselves out of poverty and expect that everyone can do it. You can't expect that someone making barely over minimum wage to be able to survive on their own. Part of the problem is that the state will take all assistance (except food stamps in some cases) from a person as soon as they get a job. It doesn't matter if they are making less than they would on welfare, they still lose it not to mention the added cost of child care, and people wonder why anyone would want to stay on welfare. It's simple economics. Sanford was all about cutting everything no matter how many children had to go hungry or go to school in ragged dirty clothes. And let's not forget the children that lost medical coverage. Thank Godness for Obamacare, at least my grandchildren and children will be able to get medical care. On you comment about the person in the whitehouse - You MUST be watching FOX news - The president was done more in his one term than most presidents do in 2. If the PUBS would stop trying to block EVERYTHING then this country would already be back on its feet. I didn't not vote for him the first time but I voted for him this time because he seemed to be the ONLY Washington actually doing something

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