Mark Sanford Is Running for Congress — and Marrying His Argentinian Lover

The decision to run "came out of the blue, for all the obvious reasons."

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Mark Sanford — the former governor of South Carolina, hiking enthusiast, and serial philanderer — is running for Congress. Rumors of a fresh run for office have been flying around for the past month or so, but Sanford's new interview with the National Review confirms his intent to run for the Souther Carolina House seat of Senator Tim Scott, who replaced Jim DeMint after the latter decamped to the Heritage Foundation. That chain of events inspired Sanford to reconsider what he thought was his permanent exit from politics. The decision to run, he tells Jim Geraghty, "came out of the blue, for all the obvious reasons. I thought my time in politics was over. That was a chapter of life, and I had moved on." Sanford cited strong local support for his run:

I was coming out of my building I live in, and an old-timer stops me and grabs me, and says, “Mark, you’ve got to do that. You were a good congressman. You’ve got to run for Congress.” Then that night, I was going for a run, running through the streets of downtown Charleston at night, and somebody starts flashing his [car headlights] at me. I have no idea who it is, and then I see it’s a local city-council guy and he’s telling me, saying, “Mark, you gotta do this.”

Sanford also confirmed an August 2012 report by a South American newspaper that he was engaged to the Argentine woman he left his wife for:

GERAGHTY: There was a CNN article about your engagement last year. Did you marry Ms. Chapur?

SANFORD: I’m going to marry her, it’s just that simple. . . . It got pushed back with this latest exercise, and our early summer activity is looking like a late summer activity, and I’ll leave it at that.

By then we'll know (hopefully) if The Daily Beast is right and Sanford is, in fact, a romantic hero.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.