Mark Sanford will run for Congress

The former governor says he will run in a special election for South Carolina's 1st district

By Jillian Rayfield
Published January 16, 2013 2:56AM (UTC)
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Last seen getting divorced from his wife and engaged to his former mistress (and inspiring a nauseating number of "Appalachian Trail" jokes), former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, a Republican, will be running for Congress again.

Sanford told the National Review Online on Tuesday: "Officially we’re going to announce tomorrow, and then it’s off to the races."


The race is a special election in the state's 1st district, which will soon be vacated by Rep. Tim Scott, R, and which Sanford held for three terms from 1995-2001. Current Gov. Nikki Haley, R, tapped Scott to replace Sen. Jim DeMint, R, who left his seat to take a post at the Heritage Foundation.

In 2009, Sanford found himself the subject of a national scandal when he disappeared from his state for several days - with his aides claiming he was hiking the Appalachian Trail - but later confessing that he was off having an affair with an Argentine woman. Sanford was eventually censured, charged with 37 ethics violations and paid a $74,000 fine, though he served out the rest of his term.

"I’m not questioning my failure in certain areas, I certainly mishandled things in that chapter of life," Sanford told the NRO, adding: "Let’s look at the magnitude of that mistake and let’s judge it in the light of other areas where he hasn’t wavered, as a champion of the taxpayer and reforming government and common-sense solutions."

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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Appalachian Trail Jim Demint Mark Sanford Nikki Haley South Carolina Tim Scott