Mark Sanford (R) has released his first ad for the South Carolina 1st Congressional District special election. Sanford held the state’s 1st Congressional District from 1995 to 2001 and was governor from 2003 to 2011. His political career was sidetracked in 2009 by his affair with his “soulmate” María Belén Chapu, a television reporter in Buenos Aires. He told his staff that he was taking a hike on the Appalachian Trail when he was actually visiting her in Argentina. After the coverup was exposed, Sanford and his wife Jenny divorced. Sanford proposed to Chapu last summer and they are currently engaged to be married.
The ad shows that Sanford’s comeback will be publicized as a redemption story. Sanford appeals to the “God of second chances” and says that he has learned “a lot about grace” from his mistakes. He also returns to the traditional conservative economic playbook, boasting that he has “cut spending, reduced debt, and made government more accountable” in his time in office.
The seat opened up when Governor Nikki R. Haley appointed Representative Tim Scott to replace the conservative Republican Jim DeMint in the Senate, who stepped down to run the Heritage Foundation. The primary is March 19.
Here’s the ad’s transcript:
Washington’s math doesn’t add up. And so for years while many have talked, I’ve fought to do something about it. I’ve cut spending, reduced debt, and made government more accountable. More recently, I’ve experienced how none of us go though life without mistakes. But in their wake we can learn a lot about grace, a God of second chances, and be the better for it. In that light I humbly step forward and ask for your help in changing Washington. I’m Mark Sanford and I approve this message.