Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford will be the Republican nominee on a ballot in his home state for the first time in seven years, after defeating former Charleston County Council member Curtis Bostic in a primary runoff on Tuesday for the state's vacant 1st Congressional District seat.
The Associated Press called the race Tuesday evening with 67 percent of precincts reporting that Sanford had a combined 55 percent of the vote to Bostic's 45 percent.
The win was not unexpected for Sanford, who outraised Bostic more than 15-1 in the pre-runoff period and was able to blanket the airwaves, building on his nearly universal name recognition in the district he represented in Congress for three terms in the 1990s. Bostic, meanwhile, works in the district, but lives just outside its boundaries.
Bostic nevertheless built a strong coalition, drawing heavily on his ties to the evangelical Christian and home-schooling communities, and highlighting his family values in the hopes of attracting voters concerned about the affair that nearly ended Sanford's political career in 2009.
Sanford has come a long way in just the four years since he admitted to having an affair with Argentinian reporter MarÃa Belén Chapur, seeming to end a 16-year political career that had him on many short lists for the presidency. In 2009, during his second term as governor, Sanford disappeared for six days, telling his staff, who then passed off the story to the press, that he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. As he later revealed in a lengthy, awkward press conference, he had in fact been in Argentina with Chapur, to whom he is now engaged.