Scott, Graham endorsements give boost to Sanford campaign

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Mark Sanford had a much better day for endorsements on Wednesday than he did on Tuesday, as South Carolina’s governor and senators all rallied around his troubled campaign for the state’s First District congressional seat.

After getting a pair of left-handed endorsements Tuesday from the cheaters website Ashley Madison and Hustler founder Larry Flynt (who called Sanford a “liar” in his statement), Sanford got some support Wednesday that could give him a boost in next week’s election: South Carolina Republican Sens. Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham endorsed the Republican nominee in Tuesday’s special congressional election. Gov. Nikki Haley is also holding a fundraiser for him Wednesday evening.

Sanford, the former South Carolina governor, faces Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch in the special election.

Scott announced his endorsement late Wednesday afternoon. Scott held the First District House seat until late last year, when he was appointed to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jim DeMint, who retired to become president of the conservative Heritage Foundation.

“On all the most important issues facing our state and country, from dealing with our dangerous levels of debt, to repealing or resisting the government health care takeover, to standing up for Charleston jobs against the NLRB, 1st District voters have a stark choice,” Scott said in a statement to The Post and Courier.

“Mark Sanford is hands down better on all of those issues, and that’s why I believe he merits support,” he concluded.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, the state’s senior Senator, made his own endorsement earlier in the day.


Both Graham and Scott are very popular in the district, and their endorsements could help boost Sanford’s ailing campaign, which has struggled since it was reported that his ex-wife had filed trespassing charges against him, prompting the National Republican Congressional Committee to pull its support for his campaign. Two days after the report, a Washington, D.C. fundraiser slated to be attended by both Scott and Graham, along with the Republican members of South Carolina’s congressional delegation, was cancelled.

But in the final week, Republicans seem to be rallying around Sanford.

Later this evening, Palmetto State Gov. Haley will hold a fundraiser for her predecessor. That, coupled with the endorsements from the state’s two senators, said South Carolina political consultant Luke Byars, “is a pretty good signal that Republicans are coming out.” Getting Republican voters to the polls next Tuesday will be crucial for Sanford in a special election where turnout is expected to be low.

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