It appears that Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford (R) still suffers from a wandering eye. Sanford is perhaps best remembered as the governor whose trip to the “Appalachian trail” veered down to Argentina to be with his mistress. Now, after making overtures about a run for retiring Republican senator Jim DeMint’s soon to be vacated seat, he’s turned his eye instead to the house seat of DeMint’s replacement, Tim Scott. His potential opponent in the primary? His ex-wife.
That’s right, South Carolina may play host to a new episode of “Sanford and (ex) Wife” with both Mark and Jenny Sanford thinking of running in the eventual special election. This would be one of the few, if not the only time a husband and ex-wife have run against each other for political office. The seat is 10 points more Republican than the nation so the winner of the Republican primary will likely win the seat.
Neither Sanford is all that strong a candidate. Mark, despite serving three terms as a congressman and two terms as governor, saw his clout in the state evaporate after his scandal. His approval in the state now lies at 40 percent approve and 44 percent disapprove.
Jenny meanwhile isn’t much of a candidate either. As an investment banker, she has experience enough for congress, but her biggest claim to fame may be her ex-husband. Even if she did divorce him, she also agreed to marry him.
The only other thing that makes her stand out as a candidate is that she’s close with current governor Nikki Haley and was on the shortlist for the appointment to DeMint’s senate seat. Haley however isn’t very popular in South Carolina right now with 49 percent of the state disapproving of her performance and only 42 percent approving.
Nor will they be alone in the primary. Other candidates are looking at the race, but only one, Ted Turner’s son Teddy Turner, has officially announced.
South Carolina has already been down the Appalachian Trail and if either Sanford runs they’ll be going down again. If one does have to run, it should be the one whose big mistake was made decades ago, not years.