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Mark Sanford

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Mark Sanford

Mark Sanford
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 1st district
Assumed office
May 7, 2013
Preceded by Tim Scott
In office
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by Arthur Ravenel
Succeeded by Henry Brown
115th Governor of South Carolina
In office
January 15, 2003 – January 12, 2011
Lieutenant André Bauer
Preceded by Jim Hodges
Succeeded by Nikki Haley
Personal details
Born Marshall Clement Sanford, Jr.
(1960-05-28) May 28, 1960
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jenny Sullivan (1989–2010; divorced)
María Belén Chapur fiancée (2012–2014)
Children 4
Residence Sullivan's Island, South Carolina (1989–2010)
Charleston, South Carolina (2010–present)
Alma mater Furman University (B.A.)
University of Virginia (M.B.A.)
Profession Real Estate Developer
Religion Episcopalian[1]
Website Government website
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Air Force
Years of service 2003–2013
Rank Captain
Unit 315th Airlift Wing
315th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron
Charleston Field
Air Force Reserve Command

Marshall Clement "Mark" Sanford, Jr. (born May 28, 1960) is an American politician and member of the Republican Party. He currently serves as the U.S. Representative for South Carolina's 1st congressional district after winning a special election on May 7, 2013.[2][3] He previously represented the same district from 1995 to 2001, before being elected Governor of South Carolina, a position he held from 2003 to 2011.

First elected to Congress in 1994, Sanford pledged to serve no more than three terms and did not seek re-election in 2000. He left office in 2001 and was elected as the 115th Governor of South Carolina in 2002, defeating Democratic incumbent Jim Hodges, and was re-elected in 2006. As Governor, Sanford had a contentious relationship with the South Carolina legislature: notably, he made public statements that he would reject stimulus funds for his state from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Following a subsequent battle in the South Carolina Supreme Court, he was forced to accept the funds.

On June 24, 2009, Sanford publicly revealed that he had engaged in an affair with María Belén Chapur, an Argentine woman.[4][5][6][7] He used money set aside for official state travel to conduct his affair which, while it led to censure by the South Carolina General Assembly and his resignation as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, did not result in Sanford's actual resignation from the governorship.

Sanford is also a real estate developer and a former medical administration officer in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.[8][9][10]


  • Early life 1
  • U.S. House of Representatives 2
    • Elections 2.1
    • Tenure 2.2
    • Legislation 2.3
      • 104th Congress (1995–1996) 2.3.1
      • 105th Congress (1997–1998) 2.3.2
      • 106th Congress (1999–2000) 2.3.3
    • Committee assignments 2.4
  • Governor of South Carolina 3
    • 2002 election 3.1
    • First term 3.2
    • 2006 election 3.3
    • Second term 3.4
      • Rankings 3.4.1
  • Disappearance and extramarital affair 4
    • Fallout from scandal 4.1
      • Resignation as Chairman of the RGA 4.1.1
      • Reimbursement for his private use of public funds 4.1.2
      • Impeachment proceedings 4.1.3
        • Censure
  • Presidential elections 5
    • Role in 2008 election 5.1
    • Possible 2012 candidacy 5.2
  • Post-gubernatorial career 6
  • Return to the U.S. House of Representatives 7
    • 2013 Congressional special election 7.1
    • Tenure 7.2
    • Committee assignments 7.3
    • Caucus memberships 7.4
  • Books 8
  • Electoral history 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11

Early life

Marshall Clement Sanford, Jr. was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. His parents were Marshall Clement Sanford, Sr., a cardiologist, and his wife, the former Peggy Pitts. Despite his family being fairly well-to-do, his entire family slept in the same room to conserve electricity.[11] Before his senior year of high school, Sanford moved with his family from Fort Lauderdale to the 3,000-acre (1,200 ha) Coosaw Plantation near Beaufort, South Carolina. Sanford attained the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America.[12]

Sanford received a Bachelor of Arts degree in business from Furman University in 1983 and a Master of Business Administration degree from Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia in 1988.[13] Shortly afterward, he moved to Sullivan's Island, South Carolina, an affluent suburban community off Charleston.

He founded Norton and Sanford Real Estate Investment, a leasing and brokerage company, in 1992, and still owns the company.[14]

U.S. House of Representatives


Sanford in 1999

In 1994, Sanford entered the Republican primary for the Charleston-based South Carolina Republican Party. Sanford defeated Van Hipp in the runoff and easily defeated State Representative Robert A. Barber, Jr. in the November general election, winning by 66.3% to 32.4%.


Sanford was unopposed by Democratic candidates in 1996 and 1998. In 1996, he beat Joseph Innella of the Natural Law Party by 96.36% to 3.55%. He beat Innella again in 1998, this time by 91% to 8.9%.


While in Congress, Sanford was recognized as its most fiscally conservative member by the Cato Institute. He was also recognized by Citizens Against Government Waste, as well as the National Tax Payers Union, for his efforts to rein in government spending and reduce the national deficit.[15] He garnered a lifetime rating of 92 from the American Conservative Union,.[16]

Sanford was known for an independent streak. He was known for voting against bills that otherwise got unanimous support.[17] For example, he voted against a bill that preserved sites linked to the Underground Railroad.[18] He voted against pork barrel projects even when they benefited his own district; in 1997 he voted against a defense appropriations bill that included funds for Charleston's harbor. Seeing himself as a "citizen-legislator," he did not run for reelection in 2000, in keeping with a promise to serve only three terms in the House.[17]


During his first tenure in Congress, Sanford sponsored 39 bills, including:[19]

104th Congress (1995–1996)

  • H.R. 1104, a bill to allow states to set term limits on individuals for House and Senate seats from their respective state, introduced March 1, 1995
  • H.R. 2610, a bill to exclude members of Congress from participating in the Civil Service Retirement System and the Federal Employees Retirement System, allowing instead for members of Congress to participate in the Thrift Savings Plan, to require roll call votes (Yes/Yea or No/Nay) for votes relating to congressional pay, and to set limits on what circumstances members of Congress can use military transportation and military health care, introduced November 9, 1995, reintroduced in the 105th Congress as H.R. 436
  • H.R. 4319, a bill to require federal agencies to implement and maintain financial management systems that comply with federal laws and regulations, introduced September 28, 1996, reintroduced in the 105th Congress as H.R. 435

105th Congress (1997–1998)

  • H.R. 2420, a bill to permit foreign-flag cruise vessels to transport Americans from one American port to another until an American cruise vessel takes its place, and to require such vessels to have repairs made in the United States, introduced September 5, 1997, reintroduced in the 106th Congress as H.R. 248
  • H.R. 2768, a bill to allow for a defined-contribution personal retirement account for employees similar to Individual retirement accounts, introduced October 29, 1997, reintroduced in the 106th Congress as H.R. 249
  • H.R. 2782, a bill to gradually increase the Social Security retirement age and to reduce the annual percent change in the cost-of-living increase for Social Security, introduced October 30, 1997, reintroduced in the 106th Congress as H.R. 250 and H.R. 251
  • H.R. 4306, a bill to eliminate the spending cap adjustments for International Monetary Fund funding increases, introduced July 22, 1998

106th Congress (1999–2000)

  • H.R. 1373, a bill to support the former Yugoslav Republics' transition to democracy, to provide aid to regions and communities negatively affected by the Serbian government's actions during the Yugoslav Wars, to impose sanctions on Yugoslavia, and to support the indictment of Slobodan Milošević as a war criminal if the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia chooses to indict him, introduced April 12, 1999
  • H.R. 3516, a bill to prohibit pelagic longline fishing in the exclusive economic zone in the Atlantic Ocean, introduced November 22, 1999
  • H.R. 4471, a bill to allow U.S. citizens and legal residents to travel to and from Cuba, introduced May 16, 2000
  • H.R. 5349, a bill to allow individuals to have $3 on their tax return ($6 if filing a joint tax return) allocated specifically to reducing the federal government's public debt, introduced September 29, 2000
  • H.R. 5557, a bill to exempt from multi-family housing handicapped access design and construction (anti-discriminatory) requirements an individual dwelling unit that is readily convertible, and is so converted upon the request of a potential occupant, introduced October 25, 2000

Committee assignments

Governor of South Carolina

2002 election

In 2002, just before announcing he would run for governor, Sanford joined the Air Force Reserve. He entered the gubernatorial election of 2002; he first defeated Lt. Gov. Bob Peeler in the Republican primary and then defeated the Democratic incumbent, Jim Hodges, in the general election, by a margin of 53% to 47% to become the 115th Governor of South Carolina. In accordance with South Carolina law, Sanford was elected separately from the state's Republican lieutenant governor, Andre Bauer. Sanford and Bauer's wins gave the Republicans full control of state government for the first time since Reconstruction.

First term

In 2003, after becoming governor, Sanford attended two weeks of training with the Air Force Reserve in Alabama with his unit, the 315th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. While in training in 2003, Sanford did not transfer power to Bauer, saying he would be in regular contact with his office, and would transfer authority in writing only if he were called to active duty.[21]

Sanford sometimes had a contentious relationship with the South Carolina General Assembly, even though it was dominated by his party for his entire tenure. The Republican-led state House of Representatives overrode 105 of Sanford's 106 budget vetoes on May 26, 2004.[22] The following day, Sanford brought live pigs, who subsequently defecated on the House floor, into the House chamber as a visual protest against "pork projects."[23]

Sanford rejected the Assembly's entire budget on June 13, 2006. Had this veto stood, the state government would have shut down on July 1. He explained his veto as being the only way to get the cuts he desired, and that using the line item veto would have been inadequate as well as impossible. However, in a special session the following day, both houses dismissed Sanford's call for reform by overriding his veto–effectively restoring their original budget[24]

Sanford professed to be a firm supporter of limited government. Later in his tenure, he embarked on a plan to reform methods of funding the state's public education system, including measures such as school vouchers– aimed at introducing more competition into the school system as a means of fostering improvement. The plan, known as "Put Parents In Charge," proposed to provide around $2,500 per child to parents who chose to withdraw their children from the state's public school system and instead send them to independent schools. Sanford framed this plan as a necessary market-based reform.

In 2003, Sanford sought to reform the state's public college system. Sanford has criticized these schools as focusing too much on separately creating research institutions and not on educating the young adults of South Carolina. Sanford also suggested that they combine some programs as a means of curbing tuition increases. The schools did not respond positively to this suggestion, however, causing Sanford to remark that "if any institution ultimately feels uncomfortable with our push toward coordination, they can exit the system and go private."[25]

Sanford also indicated a desire to increase the powers of the executive branch. Under the South Carolina Constitution, the governor is somewhat weaker than many of his counterparts. For instance, many of his appointment powers are shared with the South Carolina General Assembly.

Sanford's first term included other controversies. A Time Magazine article in November 2005, critical of Sanford, said that some "fear his thrift has brought the state's economy to a standstill."[26]

According to Survey USA, Sanford's approval ratings ranged from 47% to 55% during 2006.[27] According to Survey USA, Sanford's approval ratings in South Carolina after his admission of infidelity (6-24-09) showed that "60% think the Governor should resign. 34% feel he should remain in office."[28]

2006 election

His campaign for re-election in 2006 began by Sanford winning the June 13 Republican Primary over Oscar Lovelace, a family physician from Prosperity, with 65% of the vote to Lovelace's 35%. His Democratic competitor in the November elections was state senator Tommy Moore, whom Sanford beat by 55%–45%.[29]

On election day, Sanford was not allowed to vote in his home precinct because he did not have his voter registration card. He was obliged to go to a voter registration office to get a new registration card. "I hope everybody else out there is as determined to vote as I was today," he said. Sanford's driver's license had a

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Arthur Ravenel
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Henry Brown
Preceded by
Tim Scott
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 1st congressional district

Party political offices
Preceded by
David Beasley
Republican nominee for Governor of South Carolina
2002, 2006
Succeeded by
Nikki Haley
Political offices
Preceded by
Jim Hodges
Governor of South Carolina
Succeeded by
Nikki Haley
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Matt Salmon
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Jason Chaffetz
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
  • Open Session On The Western Hemisphere Today: A Roundtable Discussion, Hearing Before The Subcommittee On The Western Hemisphere Of The Committee On International Relations, House Of Representatives, One Hundred Fifth Congress, First Session, March 12, 1997
  • The Caribbean: An Overview Hearing Before The Subcommittee On The Western Hemisphere Of The Committee On International Relations House Of Representatives One Hundred Fifth Congress First Session May 14, 1997
  • The President's Foreign Assistance Budget Request For Fiscal Year 1999 Hearing Before The Committee On International Relations House Of Representatives One Hundred Fifth Congress Second Session March 5, 1998
  • Latin America And The Caribbean: An Update And Summary Of The Summit Of The Americas Hearing Before The Subcommittee On The Western Hemisphere Of The Committee On International Relations House Of Representatives One Hundred Fifth Congress Second Session May 6, 1998
  • Franchise Fee Calculations Of Fort Sumter Tours, Inc. Oversight Hearing Before The Subcommittee On National Parks And Public Lands Of The Committee On Resources House Of Representatives One Hundred Sixth Congress First Session July 1, 1999, Washington, Dc Serial No. 106–44

External links

  1. ^
  2. ^ AP: Sanford wins 1st District race, beats Colbert Busch
  3. ^ Sullivan, Sean. Mark Sanford wins Republican runoff in South Carolina, Washington Post, April 4, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Mark Sanford and Maria Belen Chapur call off engagement, blame lingering divorce (The Post and Courier article-September 12, 2014)
  5. ^ a b "Mark Sanford breaks up with fiance, blames ex-wife" (The State article-September 12, 2014)
  6. ^ Sreeharsha, Vinod (June 27, 2009). "Argentine Man Is Said to Be Source of Sanford E-Mail". The New York Times. Retrieved April 5, 2010. 
  7. ^ Isenstadt, Alex (March 20, 2013). "Mark Sanford faces family-values contrast in runoff".  
  8. ^ Press, Associated (2013-12-11). "The Augusta Chronicle". Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  9. ^ Augusta Chronicle, Reservist Sanford is Transferred to Agency, March 11, 2005
  10. ^ Charleston Post and Courier, The Island Packet, Candidate Questionnaire – Mark Sanford, May 3, 2013
  11. ^ Alt-Weekly Contributors (2014-07-02). "From Charleston to Los Angeles, New York to Miami, here are the bottom feeders of public office | Features". Charleston City Paper. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  12. ^ S.C. governor hears annual Scouting report from an Eagle The Augusta Chronicle
  13. ^ 10 Things You Didn't Know About Mark Sanford U.S. News & World Report
  14. ^,+Land%22&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a Anti-Politics Sanford Stresses Family, Land] by Claudia Smith Brinson, The (S.C) October 13, 2002
  15. ^ "Mark Sanford: I’m Running for Congress – Jim Geraghty – National Review Online". January 15, 2013. Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
  16. ^ "1996 House Ratings".  
  17. ^ a b Profile of Sanford at NewsHour‍ '​s coverage of '02 governor's race
  18. ^  
  19. ^ "Representative Sanford's Legislation". Library of Congress. Retrieved December 12, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Sanford Won’t Gain Plum Posts in Return to U.S. House". Bloomberg. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  21. ^ John O'Connor and Clif LeBlanc (June 22, 2009). "Sanford, missing since Thursday, reportedly located". The State. 
  22. ^ Bauerlein, Valerie. "S.C. House overrides 105 of 106 vetoes". The State. Columbia, South Carolina. Archived from the original on June 17, 2004. 
  23. ^ "Gov. Sanford protests pork with pork at Statehouse Thurs.". WIS-TV. May 27, 2004. Retrieved May 8, 2013. 
  24. ^ Goodman, Brenda (June 15, 2006). "South Carolina Showdown Is Set Up by a Budget Veto". The New York Times. Retrieved June 24, 2009. 
  25. ^ "Sanford urges privatization". The Augusta Chronicle. December 6, 2003. Retrieved May 8, 2013. 
  26. ^ Tim Padgett (November 13, 2005). "Mark Sanford / South Carolina". TIME magazine. 
  27. ^ "Survey USA poll". Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
  28. ^ "Survey S.C. poll". June 25, 2009. Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
  29. ^ "– Elections 2006". Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
  30. ^ Associated Press (November 8, 2006). "Sanford wins re-election". The Herald. Rock Hill, South Carolina. Archived from the original on November 8, 2006. 
  31. ^ Associated Press (November 7, 2006). "South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford Not Allowed To Vote At His Home Precinct". Archived from the original on November 22, 2006. 
  32. ^ "Gov. Sanford on the Podcast". June 5, 2008. Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
  33. ^ Fausset, Richard (February 21, 2009). "South Carolina's governor may turn down stimulus money". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
  34. ^ Goodman, Josh (February 16, 2009). "Should Mark Sanford Reject the Stimulus Money?". Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
  35. ^  
  36. ^ Davenport, Jim (February 19, 2009). "Jobless benefits part of SC gov's stimulus blur". Associated Press. Archived from the original on February 22, 2009. 
  37. ^ "Arnold: I'll take govs' money". Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
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  39. ^ Andrew Romano (April 24, 2009). "Mark Sanford: The Last Conservative Standing? – Newsweek and The Daily Beast". Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
  40. ^ Rutenberg, Jim (26 June 2014). "Mark Sanford’s Path of Most Resistance". New York Times. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  41. ^ Gordon, Greg. "Congressman in tight race for re-election comes under federal investigation". McClatchy Newspapers. Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
  42. ^ Vogel, Ed (April 21, 2010). "Gibbons named on list of worst governors".  
  43. ^ Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors: 2010 Policy Analysis, No 668. Chris Edwards. September 30, 2010.
  44. ^ Byers, Dylan (December 31, 2012). "AP's Jim Davenport dead at 54".  
  45. ^ Collins, Jeffrey (December 31, 2012). "South Carolina AP reporter Jim Davenport dies". Associated Press. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  46. ^ Davenport, Jim (June 23, 2009). "Governor gone for days; staff says he's hiking". Associated Press. Retrieved May 8, 2013. 
  47. ^ Smith, Gina, and O'Connor, John (July 14, 2009). "Sanford’s office couldn't locate missing governor". The State. Columbia, South Carolina. Archived from the original on September 3, 2009. 
  48. ^ Alex Roth; Valerie Bauerlein (June 24, 2009). "Sanford Says He Had Extramarital Affair". Columbia, SC: Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 24, 2009. 
  49. ^ a b LeBlanc, Clif; O'Connor, John (June 24, 2009). "Sanford admits affair, wife Jenny responds".  
  50. ^ a b Lush, Tamara and Berland, Evan (July 1, 2009). "S.C. governor ‘crossed lines’ with more women". Associated Press. 
  51. ^ Sanford's Mistress revealed as Professional, Passionate, Beautiful Brunette, Fox News, June 25, 2009.
  52. ^ Exclusive, Read e-mails between Sanford, woman, The State, June 25, 2009.
  53. ^ Lush, Tamara, and Berland, Evan (June 30, 2009). "Sanford admits additional encounters with Chapur, 'crossed lines' with other women". The Post and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina). Associated Press. 
  54. ^ Davenport, Jim (June 24, 2009). "SC gov with family as questions grow over absence". Associated Press. Archived from the original on June 25, 2009.  Also published in The Boston Globe as: "SC governor admits affair, secret Argentina trip"
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  59. ^ Hamby, Peter (December 11, 2009). "S.C. governor's wife files for divorce". CNN. Retrieved December 11, 2009. 
  60. ^ Pavey, Rob (April 14, 2010). "Augusta businessman dating Jenny Sanford".  
  61. ^ "Mark Sanford Not Allowed To Fly Airplanes At His Children Anymore". Wonkette. 2013-04-30. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
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  64. ^ "Sanford admits affair".  
  65. ^ "Barbour takes over RGA".  
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  73. ^ Fausset, Richard (October 28, 2009). "Mark Sanford impeachment papers expected today". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
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  77. ^ "How they voted – News Extras". Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
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  93. ^ Republican Liberty Caucus Encourages Sanford to Run for President
  94. ^ GOP governors don't say no to bids for president
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  97. ^ "Sanford looking at potential campaign HQ space". The Post and Courier article. January 10, 2013. Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
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  115. ^ "Ben Frasier Endorses Mark Sanford Over Former Rival Elizabeth Colbert Busch". April 4, 2013. Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
  116. ^ Ould, Mohamedou (April 5, 2013). "The Alvin Greene Scam: It Lives!". Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
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  118. ^ "Will Ron Paul be the saving grace for Mark Sanford’s campaign?". April 26, 2013. Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
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  121. ^ Associated Press. "After months of refusing to attack, Sanford’s opponent puts him on the defensive over affair". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
  122. ^ "Tim Scott endorses Mark Sanford". January 1, 1970. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  123. ^ Joseph, Cameron. "Tim Scott endorses Mark Sanford, says he 'merits support' – The Hill's Ballot Box". Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  124. ^ Igor Bobic 11:03 AM EDT, Wednesday May 1, 2013. "Lindsey Graham Endorses Mark Sanford: 'We Need Him In Washington' | TPM LiveWire". Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  125. ^ Alexis Levinson (April 26, 2013). "Scott, Graham endorsements give boost to Sanford campaign". The Daily Caller. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  126. ^ Gentilviso, Chris (April 30, 2013). "'"Larry Flynt Endorses Mark Sanford, 'America's Great Sex Pioneer. Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
  127. ^ "Mark Sanford wins South Carolina special election". Washington Post. Retrieved May 8, 2013. 
  128. ^ "Statewide Results". South Carolina Dept. Of Elections. Retrieved May 8, 2013. 
  129. ^ "Once disgraced, Mark Sanford is unopposed". USA Today. March 31, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2014. 
  130. ^ "CBO – H.R. 4803". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 
  131. ^ "House Passes Legislation On Transportation Security". Homeland Security Today. 23 July 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  132. ^ Medici, Andy (23 July 2014). "House passes bill to demote some TSA officers". Federal Times. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  133. ^ "Rep. Mark Sanford gets 2 committee assignments". The Post and Courier. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  134. ^ Bialik, Carl; Bycoffe, Aaron (25 September 2015). "The Hard-Line Republicans Who Pushed John Boehner Out".  
  135. ^ Sanford, Mark (2000). The Trust Committed to Me. Washington, DC: U.S. Term Limits Foundation.  
  136. ^ Deahl, Rachel (July 2, 2009). "Sentinel Kills Sanford Book". Publishers Weekly. 
  137. ^ "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Retrieved January 10, 2008. 
  138. ^ RUNOFF – U.S. House of Representatives District 1 Primary, South Carolina Secretary of State, April 2, 2013.


South Carolina's 1st congressional district Republican primary runoff election 2013[138]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Mark Sanford 26,066 56.58
Republican Curtis Bostic 20,005 43.42
South Carolina Gubernatorial Election 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Mark Sanford (Incumbent) 601,868 55.1 +2.2
Democratic Tommy Moore 489,076 44.8
South Carolina Gubernatorial Election 2002
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Mark Sanford 583,339 52.9
Democratic Jim Hodges (Incumbent) 518,310 47.3

*Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 1994, write-ins received 63 votes. In 1998, write-ins received 71 votes. In 2013, write-ins received 383 votes.

South Carolina's 1st congressional district: Results 1994–2013[137]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1994 Robert A. Barber, Jr. 47,769 32% Mark Sanford 97,803 66% Robert Payne Libertarian 1,836 1% *
1996 (no candidate) Mark Sanford 138,467 96% Joseph F. Innella Natural Law 5,105 4%
1998 (no candidate) Mark Sanford 118,414 91% Joseph F. Innella Natural Law 11,586 9% *
2013 Elizabeth Colbert-Busch 64,818 45.2% Mark Sanford 77,466 54.0% Eugene Platt Green Party 690 0.5% *

Electoral history

In 2000 Sanford's first book, The Trust Committed To Me, was published. It discussed term limits, and featured a foreword by Robert Novak.[135] A second book, titled Within Our Means, was scheduled to be published by Sentinel in 2010: however the contract was terminated by mutual agreement after the revelation of Sanford's extramarital affair.[136]


Caucus memberships

Committee assignments

On June 5, 2014, Sanford introduced the TSA Office of Inspection Accountability Act of 2014 (H.R. 4803; 113th Congress), a bill that would direct the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to review the data and methods that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) uses to classify personnel as law enforcement officers and to reclassify, as necessary, any staff of the Office of Inspection that are currently misclassified according to the results of that review.[130] Sanford said that "even though there are federal standards in place that lay out how employees qualify for higher wages, the Transportation Security Administration pays some of their employees more for jobs they're not doing. That wouldn't make sense anywhere outside of government and our bill would help fix that problem by clarifying those employees' responsibilities."[131] According to Sanford, accurately reclassifying employees who do not spent at least 50 percent of the time on law enforcement activities and putting them on an accurate pay scale would save the government $17 million a year.[132]

Sanford was sworn-in on May 15, 2013.


Sanford was unopposed for re-election in 2014.[129]

On May 7, 2013, Sanford was once again elected to the U.S. House of Representatives with 54.04% of the vote, defeating Elizabeth Colbert Busch.[127][128]

Larry Flynt also endorsed him, saying "His open embrace of his mistress in the name of love, breaking his sacred marriage vows, was an act of bravery that has drawn my support.”[126]

Sanford was endorsed by FreedomWorks,[108] South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley,[109] U.S. Representative and House Speaker John Boehner,[110] State Senator Tom Davis,[111][112][113] former South Carolina State Treasurer Thomas Ravenel,[114] perennial candidate Ben Frasier,[115][116] former U.S. Representative from Texas Ron Paul[117][118][119] and his son, U.S. Senator from Kentucky Rand Paul.,[120][121] and on May 1, 2013, U.S. Senator and former U.S. Representative Tim Scott[122][123] and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham[124][125] endorsed Sanford.

On April 17, 2013, the National Republican Congressional Committee pulled support from the Sanford campaign in the wake of revelations that Jenny Sanford had filed a trespassing complaint against him on February 4.[106] According to the complaint, Jenny Sanford had caught her former husband sneaking out of her home in Sullivan's Island, using his cellphone as a flashlight. Under the terms of their divorce agreement, neither Mark nor Jenny Sanford may come to the other's house without permission—a condition Jenny Sanford alleged that Mark Sanford had flouted on numerous occasions despite Jenny Sanford filing a "no trespass" letter with the Sullivan's Island Police Department.[107] In a statement, Mark Sanford admitted that he'd gone to the house to watch the second half of Super Bowl XLVII with his son. He claimed to have tried to contact Jenny beforehand, but was unable to do so. Jenny Sanford filed the complaint the next morning. Several Republican operatives said that they were upset Sanford had known about this complaint for some time and failed to disclose it.[106]

On April 2, 2013, Sanford won his Republican House primary runoff against Curtis Bostic, a former Charleston County councilman. The special election was held on May 7, 2013 and Sanford defeated Democratic Party Candidate Elizabeth Colbert Busch.[105]

Sanford formally launched his bid for Congress in early 2013. He quickly became a front-runner in a crowded field of 16 Republican candidates, because of his name recognition.[104]

In December 2012, CNN reported that Sanford was considering a bid to retake his congressional seat. The previous holder, fellow Republican Tim Scott, had been appointed to the United States Senate by Governor Nikki Haley after the resignation of Senator Jim DeMint.[102] On December 22, 2012, Sanford sent an email to supporters, confirming rumors that he intended to run for Congress in 2013.[103]

2013 Congressional special election

Return to the U.S. House of Representatives

In October 2011, he was hired as a paid political contributor for Fox News Channel.[100] In August 2012, Sanford became engaged to his former mistress, Maria Belen Chapur.[101] The engagement was subsequently broken off in September, 2014.[4][5]

Following completion of his service as governor in January 2011, Sanford moved to his family farm in Beaufort County, South Carolina, and later moved to a condominium in Charleston, South Carolina.[97] He has described this as a very quiet and spiritual time, and developed a Buddhist Christian life approach including a daily quiet time, practicing mindfulness, and emphasising everyone's 'shared human experience.'[98][99]

Then-Governor Mark Sanford speaking at an event in September 2010.

Post-gubernatorial career

On January 4, 2010, Sanford admitted, "If there's anything that's abundantly clear, it's that I ain't running for president." In the same Republican meeting, he also indicated that he would enter the private sector after his last 11 months as governor.[96]

Washington Post blogger Chris Cillizza said that revelations of an extramarital affair in June 2009 ended Sanford's chances of being a serious candidate in 2012.[95]

On February 22, 2009, Sanford declined to rule out a possible presidential bid in 2012, though he professed to have no current plans to run for national office.[94]

Further boosting Sanford's profile in advance of a potential candidacy, which at the time the governor neither ruled out nor expressly hinted at,[90] he was elected as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association in November 2008[91] and was cited by Michael S. Steele, the Chairman of the Republican Party as one of four "rising stars" in the GOP (alongside Governors Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Sarah Palin of Alaska) in February 2009.[92] Sanford also received early support for a presidential run from the Republican Liberty Caucus.[93]

As early as January 2008, there had been anticipation that Sanford would run for President in 2012, and online support groups had sprung up on virtual social networks like Facebook in support of a Sanford ticket.[88][89]

Possible 2012 candidacy

[87] "I'm drawing a blank, and I hate when I do that, especially on television," joked Sanford.[86] Sanford attracted derision in the

On a January 18, 2008 interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer,[85] Sanford discussed his Obama article. Wolf Blitzer asked, "Give us your mind-set. Why did you think it was so important to write this piece right now at this critical moment?" Sanford responded, "Well, it plays into a larger conversation that we're having as a family of South Carolinians on, in fact, the [constitutional] structure of our government." Also, Wolf Blitzer showed Sanford clips of recent comments made by John McCain and Mike Huckabee about the Confederate battle flag and asked Sanford, "All right, two different positions, obviously. Who's right in this?" Sanford responded, "Well, it depends who you talk to." Sanford elaborated that "if you were to talk to the vast majority of South Carolinians, they would say that we do not need to be debating where the Confederate flag is or is not."

On January 11, 2008, shortly before the South Carolina presidential primaries (R Jan 19, D Jan 26), Sanford published a guest column in the Columbia newspaper The State.[84] In the article, "Obama's Symbolism Here", Sanford wrote, "I won't be voting for Barack Obama for president," but noted the "historical burden" borne by South Carolinians on the topic of race. He advised voters in South Carolina to take note of the symbolism of Obama's early success, with the knowledge that South Carolina was a segregated state less than fifty years earlier, and discouraged voting either for or against Obama on the basis of his race.

Sanford publicly aligned himself with McCain in a March 15, 2008, piece in the Wall Street Journal. Likening the presidential race to a football game at halftime, Sanford noted that he "sat out the first half, not endorsing a candidate...But I'm now stepping onto the field and going to work to help John McCain. It's important that conservatives do the same."[83]

In 2006, before the midterm elections, some commentators discussed the possibility of Sanford running for president. He said that he would not run, and claimed that his re-election bid would be his last election, win or lose. After Super Tuesday in 2008, Sanford received some mention as a potential running mate for the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, John McCain.[80][81][82]

Role in 2008 election

Presidential elections

On December 15, 2009, the House Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to censure Sanford. The full South Carolina House of Representatives voted 102–11 on the resolution in January 2010.[78][79]


On December 3, during its third public hearing on the matter, the ad hoc committee unanimously voted to remove the vast majority of charges from the investigation, stating that they didn't warrant "overturning an election." On December 9, the committee voted 6–1 against impeachment, stating that the legislature had better things to do. However, the committee voted unanimously to censure the governor.[76] On the 16th the full House Judiciary Committee voted 15–6 to formally end the process.[77]

On October 23, 2009, two impeachment resolutions were introduced, but were blocked by Democrats in the South Carolina legislature.[73] A month later, the resolution was successfully introduced and it was announced that an ad hoc committee would begin drafting articles of impeachment starting on November 24.[74] Meanwhile, the Ethics Commission formally charged Sanford with 37 violations.[75] making his removal or resignation all that more likely.

On August 25, state representatives Nathan Ballentine and Gary Simrill met with Sanford and warned him that the state legislature would impeach him if he did not resign. Ballentine, an ally of Sanford's, said afterward, "I told him the writing is on the wall. ...he could put an end to it all, but if he doesn't, members of the House will take things into their hands." Sanford still declined to resign.[71] On August 28, The Washington Times reported that Republican lawmakers in South Carolina were "laying plans" for a special legislative session on whether to impeach Sanford. Two bills of impeachment were being prepared, with bipartisan support in the state legislature.[72]

Impeachment proceedings

After his affair was revealed in June 2009, Sanford first claimed, "There's been a lot of speculation and innuendo on whether or not public moneys were used to advance my admitted unfaithfulness. To be very clear: no public money was ever used in connection with this."[67] After a reporter used the Freedom of Information Act to seek records of what public funds were used to pay for Sanford's trip to Argentina,[68] Sanford eventually chose to reimburse taxpayers for expenses he had incurred one year earlier with his mistress in Argentina.[69] He said, "I made a mistake while I was there in meeting with the woman who I was unfaithful to my wife with. That has raised some very legitimate concerns and questions, and as such I am going to reimburse the state for the full cost of the Argentina leg of this trip.” On August 9, 2009, the AP reported that Sanford may have violated state law by other abusive use of state planes, including to fly to get a haircut.[70]

Reimbursement for his private use of public funds

Sanford resigned as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association,[63][64] and he was swiftly succeeded by Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.[65] In a June 29 email to members of his political action committee, Sanford said he had no intention of resigning as governor.[66]

Resignation as Chairman of the RGA

Sanford posted lengthy remarks on his Facebook page on September 12, 2014, regarding his ex-wife's "legal machinations surrounding the custody of their children". His remarks on Facebook are longer than the total of all his 2014 speeches on the floor of the House of Representatives.[62]

His wife, Jenny Sanford, after telling Vogue magazine that her husband was having a “midlife crisis”, moved out of the South Carolina Governor's Mansion, with the couple’s four sons, returning to the family home on Sullivan's Island.[57][58] On December 11, 2009, she announced that she was filing for divorce, calling it a "sad and painful process."[59] The divorce was finalized in March 2010.[60] Interestingly, a stipulation within his divorce papers demanded that while on the Sanford family's Coosaw plantation, "no airplanes will be flown at children". The papers also noted that Sanford liked to "unwind" by digging holes on the property with his hydraulic excavator.[61]

Fallout from scandal

In September 2014, Sanford and his ex-wife agreed on mediation over an argument arising from their divorce in 2010 after his extramarital affair while serving as the state's governor. Sanford's former wife asked the judge to require the congressman to undergo a psychiatric exam and take parenting and anger management classes. Judge Daniel Martin Jr. said he instead ordered them to take the issues to mediation within 30 days, as requested by a motion filed by the congressman.[56]

Sanford told reporters that months before his affair became public he had sought counsel at a controversial religious organization called The Family, of which he became a member when he was a Representative in Washington, D.C. from 1995 to 2001.[55]

Sanford's wife had become aware of her husband's infidelities around five months before the scandal broke, and the two had sought marriage counseling.[49] She said that she had requested a trial separation about two weeks before his disappearance.[54]

On June 25, La Nación, a Buenos Aires newspaper, identified the Argentine woman as María Belén Chapur, a 43-year-old divorced mother of two with a university degree in international relations who lives in the city of Buenos Aires.[51] The State earlier had published details of e-mails between Sanford and a woman only identified as "Maria."[52] Sanford met Chapur at a dance in Uruguay in 2001 and admitted there was a more intimate relationship with her starting in 2008.[53]

In emotional interviews with the Associated Press over two days, Sanford said he would die "knowing that I had met my soul mate."[50] Sanford also said that he "crossed the lines" with a handful of other women during 20 years of marriage, but not as far as he did with his mistress. "There were a handful of instances wherein I crossed the lines I shouldn't have crossed as a married man, but never crossed the ultimate line," he said.[50]

Reporter Gina Smith intercepted Sanford arriving at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport on a flight from Argentina. Several hours later, after learning that incriminating evidence was being swiftly mobilized against him by the media, Sanford held a news conference, during which he admitted that he had been unfaithful to his wife.[48][49]

Before his disappearance, Sanford told his staff that he would be hiking on the Appalachian Trail and while he was gone he did not answer 15 cell phone calls from his chief of staff Scott English; he also failed to call his family on Father's Day.[47]

From June 18 until June 24, 2009, the whereabouts of Sanford were unknown to the public, as well as to his wife and the State Law Enforcement Division, which provides security for him, garnering nationwide news coverage. The absence of Governor Sanford was first reported by Jim Davenport of the Associated Press.[44][45] Lieutenant Governor André Bauer announced that he could not "take lightly that his staff has not had communication with him for more than four days, and that no one, including his own family, knows his whereabouts."[46]

Disappearance and extramarital affair

The libertarian Cato Institute ranked Sanford as the best governor in America in their 2010 fiscal policy report card, describing him as "a staunch supporter of spending restraint and pro-growth tax reforms".[43]

In its April 2010 report, Democratic-leaning watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington [41] named Sanford one of eleven worst governors in the United States because of various ethics issues throughout Sanford's term as governor and his time in Congress.[42]


Sanford persuaded state legislator Nikki Haley to run as his successor, and campaigned on her behalf.[40]

On March 11, 2009, Sanford became the first United States governor to formally reject a portion of the federal stimulus money earmarked by Congress for the state of South Carolina.[38] Sanford compromised to accept the federal money on condition that the state legislature provide matching funds to pay down the South Carolina state debt.[39]

After the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which Sanford strongly opposed and publicly criticized before and after its passage by Congress and presidential signing, Sanford initially indicated he might not accept all of the funds allotted by the spending law to South Carolina.[33] He was criticized by many Democrats and some moderate Republicans both in his state and outside who noted South Carolina's 9.5% unemployment rate (one of the highest in the country) and complained that Sanford wasn't doing enough to improve economic conditions in his state which he was intentionally trying to worsen, which could be alleviated by the stimulus money.[34][35][36] Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Republican Governor of California, suggested that if Sanford or other governors rejected their portion of stimulus funds, he would be happy to take them instead.[37]

In dissent with the Republican Party of South Carolina, Sanford, an Episcopalian, opposed the faith-based license plates his state offers, marketed largely to the state's conservative evangelical citizens. After allowing the law to pass without his signature, he wrote "It is my personal view that the largest proclamation of one's faith ought to be in how one lives his life."[32]

Second term


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