Former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford has won his first political challenge since returning to politics after the scandal that marred his political career. On Tuesday night, Republican voters selected him over opponent Curtis Bostic to challenge Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch for the open seat in South Carolina’s 1st congressional district.
Sanford made national headlines in 2009 when he disappeared for six days and was subsequently found to have been involved in an extramarital affair. A special House impeachment panel formally censured him for bringing “ridicule, dishonor, disgrace and shame” on South Carolina and for using state funds to facilitate his affair.
Yet voters in S.C.’s 1st district have “seemingly forgiven him for that,” said Chris Hayes on the April 2 edition of msnbc’s All in with Chris Hayes. He and the show’s panel tried to parse why it is that certain disgraced politicians are able to redeem themselves in the eyes of the voters, while others are forced to retire from politics forever. While Sanford inched closer to a triumphant return to office on Tuesday, the journey is not yet over.
“The fact that we have a runoff, and the fact that he’s running even in a race that is in an overwhelmingly Republican district with a Democratic opponent suggests that this is a far from a settled matter for voters in that area,” said former Obama adviser David Axelrod.