Mark Sanford wins comeback nomination for Congress seat

Mark Sanford thanks his fiancee Maria Belen Chapur as he addresses supporters in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, on 2 April 2013 Mark Sanford made a rare public appearance with his Argentine fiancee

Related Stories

A former South Carolina governor who quit two years ago over an extramarital affair has won the Republican nomination to run for a vacant seat.

Mark Sanford comfortably saw off a rival in Tuesday night's run-off poll to become his party's candidate.

He will face Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the sister of television comedian Stephen Colbert, in May's special election.

Ms Colbert Busch is a businesswoman who has long aspired to political office.

In Tuesday's primary poll, Mr Sanford, 52, won 57% of the vote compared with 43% for former Charleston City Council member Curtis Bostic.

'Vigorous campaign'

He was joined at his victory speech by the Argentine woman - now his fiancee - with whom he was having an extramarital affair in 2009.

Mr Sanford thanked volunteers and voters, saying that while he believes in "a God of second chances, at times voters are a little bit less forgiving".

His campaign to win South Carolina's first congressional district, where he previously served from 1995-2001, is his first foray back into public life since 2011, when he left the governor's office in disgrace.

Mr Sanford represented the same district in Congress before he was elected governor in 2002 and re-elected in 2006.

In 2009, after disappearing for several days and telling his staff he was hiking the famed Appalachian Trail, the then-married Mr Sanford returned to the state to admit that he had been in Argentina with a mistress.

He was censured by the state legislature, but Mr Sanford defied numerous calls to step down before his term ended in January 2011.

He divorced his wife Jenny and is now engaged to the Argentine woman, ex-TV reporter Maria Belen Chapur.

Ms Colbert Busch's younger brother is Stephen Colbert, host of the popular satirical cable television show The Colbert Report.

In a statement on Tuesday, she said she was looking forward to "a vigorous campaign".

"As a businesswoman, I will use my experience to cut waste in Washington, lower tax rates so small businesses can create jobs and do the people of South Carolina proud as their representative," she said.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More US & Canada stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine


  • Plane at Shannon airportShannon's call

    The airport that hosted a roll-call of presidents


  • Record playing on turntableVinyl destination

    The eight tribes of people who keep buying records


  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at RAAF Amberley airbase near Brisbane on 19 AprilIn pictures

    Fighter jets and screaming crowds for William and Kate


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world

Programmes

  • Tuna and avacadoThe Travel Show Watch

    Is Tokyo set to become the world's gourmet capital?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.