Former Gov. Mark Sanford announced he plans to run for an open seat in Congress. He made headlines in 2009 when he admitted to an affair.
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, whose political career was derailed four years ago because of his affair with an Argentine woman, is attempting an improbable comeback.
Once mentioned as a potential 2012 GOP presidential contender, the 52-year-old Republican announced Wednesday he will run for his old congressional seat in his home district along the South Carolina coast. Sanford, a penny-pinching conservative long before the Tea Party movement, said he is done apologizing for the affair and wants to restore "fiscal sanity" to Washington. He believes voters are ready to give him another shot in office.
"I think what they are most focused on is not the fact I have made a mistake and apologized and have tried to do right in my life since. What they are focused on is their pocketbook and their wallet," Sanford told The Associated Press.
Sanford came to national prominence in 2009 when he told his staff that he was leaving for a few days to hike the Appalachian Trail and would be out of contact. As reported by The State, Sanford later admitted he'd been on a trip to Buenos Aires with a girlfriend and had been unfaithful to his wife.
CBS reported Sanford is now engaged to the girlfriend, Maria Belen Chapur.
The Washington Post said Tuesday that in an interview with a conservative magazine, Sanford said he believed his political career was over until "miraculous events" brought him back.
CBS reported that Sanford has pinned his hopes on a seat formerly held by Republican Rep. Tim Scott. The seat became vacant after Scott was appointed to the Senate, filling a seat formerly held by Republican Sen. Jim DeMint. DeMint left Congress to join a conservative think tank.
The GOP primary for the seat is scheduled for March 19, with runoffs taking place April 2.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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