Former Republican South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford plans to return to the political arena and run for the congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Tim Scott, who was recently appointed to fill the Senate seat being vacated by Jim DeMint.
The news was first reported by CNN. A former top Sanford aide said he is “looking all but certain to run,” and is planning an announcement soon.
Sanford held the seat from 1995 to 2001, when he left to become governor, and he would begin the race as a frontrunner in name recognition.
“I guarantee he runs, and I’m almost positive he wins,” a source knowledgeable about South Carolina politics, though with no direct knowledge of Sanford’s plans, told The Daily Caller. “Might as well start calling him ‘congressman’ again.”
If Sanford runs, he could wind up challenging his ex-wife, Jenny Sanford, in the Republican primary. She was one of Gov. Nikki Haley’s top choices to fill DeMint’s seat.
But CNN reported that confidantes of Mark Sanford say he would avoid a race with his ex-wife, suggesting she does not intend to run despite indicating some interest in the seat.
A special election to fill the seat will be held in May of next year. A Republican primary would likely be held in late March.
Sanford left politics after he “disappeared” for several days during his second term as governor and was revealed to have been spending time in Argentina with his Argentinian mistress. The two are now engaged.