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Sanford revives career, defeats Colbert Busch in SC special election

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Once thought to be politically dead, former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s career was resuscitated Tuesday with a win in the special election for an open U.S. House seat. He had held the seat for three terms prior to being elected as governor.

With all precincts reporting, Republican Sanford led Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch by 54%-45%, according to CNN.

Mark Sanford victory
Photo credit: The Post and Courier

Sanford has never lost a race in three runs for Congress and two for governor, but said he wouldn’t run again if he lost this one. Colbert Busch, a businesswoman, was best known as the sister of Stephen Colbert, host of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.”

Considered a contender in a bid for the 2012 GOP presidential, Sanford left his post as governor at the end of his term in 2010 in the midst of a scandal. He admitted to an extramarital affair after disappearing for several days, his staff claiming he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, when he was actually in Argentina with his mistress.

He later admitted that he was actually in Argentina, seeing the woman with whom he was having an affair. CNN reports he is now engaged to that woman.

A contentious race, Colbert Busch sought to make Sanford’s indiscretions the main campaign issue and with the full weight of the Democratic Congressional Committee behind her, Rep. Nancy Pelosi was brought in to help the campaign.

A humble Sanford said that everyone makes mistakes and that he had learned from his.

“I had a failing that was well chronicled and I think it’s been important to discuss it,” Sanford told CNN Tuesday. “[B]ut I think it falls into this larger journey we’re all on, which is that none of us are perfect, all of us have feet of clay, and this notion of redemption, of second chances, is part and parcel to the American way.”


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