Jenny Sanford Not Endorsing in South Carolina House Race

Apr 12, 2013 3:56pm

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Mark Sanford won’t get his ex-wife’s backing ahead of his special election in South Carolina next month.

Jenny Sanford will not be endorsing a candidate in the race on May 7 that pits her ex-husband, former  Republican South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch.

In an e-mail to ABC News, Sanford said, “I have no plans to endorse and am happily focused on my sons at this time.”

In 2009, Mark Sanford left the state and his staff for six days, saying he was “hiking the Appalachian Trail.” Instead, he was actually visiting his then-mistress, now-fiancée Maria Belen Chapur, an Argentine journalist. He admitted the affair in a teary press conference, and it looked at the time as if it would derail his political career.

“I’ve spent the last five days of my life crying in Argentina. I am committed to trying to get my heart right,” Sanford said at the time.

Chapur made her first appearance on the campaign trail at Sanford’s primary victory party earlier this month. He even thanked her for her “long-suffering” while he’s been campaigning.  She did not address the crowd.

Before leaving office as governor, Sanford was censured by the state legislature over travel expenses he used to conduct the affair. He had to pay more than $70,000 in ethics fines, the largest in state history.

Whether his political comeback is successful will be decided next month when he faces off against Busch, comedian Stephen Colbert’s sister.

Roll Call was the first to report this news.

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