Second chances do exist in politics, and Mark Sanford might just try his hand.
According to The Weekly Standard, the disgraced former governor of South Carolina will run for Congress. South Carolina will stage a special election in May to replace Senate fill-in Rep. Tim Scott, who was plucked from the lower chamber by Gov. Nikki Haley to replace Sen. Jim DeMint, who left to run the Heritage Foundation.
The main event for this deep red district will be the March 19 primary. The Weekly Standard’s Michael Warren writes:
Mark Sanford, the former governor of South Carolina, will run for the House of Representatives, sources close to Sanford confirm. …
Sanford, a Republican who held the House seat himself from 1995 to 2001, will announce his intention to run early next week, ahead of the Jan. 18 filing deadline.
Jenny Sanford, the former governor’s ex-wife, on whom he famously cheated with a journalist in Argentina while claiming to be hiking the Appalachian Trail, has been rumored to be interested in running for the seat herself – along with a handful of area Republican politicians considered as likely or semi-likely to jump in.
The 1st District special election will be the first federal race after November 2012, and, as such, it may draw outsized interest from analysts and political obsessives seeking a referendum on the future direction of the Republican Party after its 2012 losses. But with Sanford in the race, it could be more of a character-driven soap opera than a reflection of a political moment.