Sanford asked wronged ex-wife to run his campaign

“We could put the team back together," proposed the former governor to woman he left for mistress

By Natasha Lennard

Published March 4, 2013 4:52PM (EST)

Conciliation after infidelity is always difficult and, as former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford reportedly discovered, not even politics conquers all. According to a New York magazine report, Sanford asked his ex-wife, whom he had cheated on and admitted so much publicly, to run his Congressional campaign.

Jenny Sanford had run her husband's previous campaign for a House seat in 1994. But that was before Sanford was forced to admit on national TV that he had an extramarital affair. According to New York mag, Sanford went to visit his ex-wife to ask whether she would be running for the House seat vacated by Tim Scott when Nikki Haley appointed Scott to the Senate herself. On learning that she would not, the former governor reportedly asked, “Since you’re not running, I want to know if you’ll run my campaign ... We could put the team back together."

The Sanfords have "barely been on speaking terms" since their divorce, New York reported. But the man who ran away with his Argentinian mistress told his ex-wife, “I could pay you this time."

Jenny said no.


Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email

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Infidelity Jenny Sanford Mark Sanford South Carolina U.s. House Of Representatives