Mark Sanford announces run for Congress
Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford (R) answers questions from a news reporter at Boeing's new production facilities April 27, 2012, in North Charlston, South Carolina. / Getty Images
Former two-term Gov. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., who was censured by the state legislature in 2009 after acknowledging an extramarital affair, announced today that he will seek the House seat formerly held by Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C.
""I am running because our country's future is at stake if we don't get our hands around runaway government spending in Washington," said Sanford in a statement. "And given our nation's long-term financial problems, we need more who have shown themselves to be leaders in standing up to the big spenders, regardless of party."
Scott resigned from the House after being appointed to the Senate seat held by former Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., who left Congress to join a conservative think tank.
Sanford, a onetime Republican rising star seen as a potential presidential candidate, made headlines in 2009 when he told staff he planned to hike the Appalachian Trail and then could not be located for days. He eventually admitted that he had been in Buenos Aires with a girlfriend, who he described at the time as "a dear, dear friend from Argentina." Sanford is now engaged to the woman, Maria Belen Chapur. He ultimately reimbursed the state for his travel to Argentina.
Sanford and his wife Jenny eventually divorced. Jenny Sanford had also considered seeking Scott's seat but said Monday she would not do so.
Mark Sanford, who held this House seat for three terms from 1995-2001 in addition to his time as governor, told National Review he planned to run "because I care deeply about spending, and the mathematical impossibility of us continuing down the path we're on."
Asked what he would tell those troubled by the events of 2009, Sanford replied, "In life we're all going to make mistakes, we're all going to come up short."
"I think that the bigger issue is, don't judge any one person by their best day, don't judge them by their worst day," he added. "Look at the totality, the whole of their life, and make judgments accordingly."
The Republican primary for Scott's 1st Congressional District seat will be held on March 19, with a possible runoff on April 2.
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