Ex-SC Gov. Sanford back in political office

Sanford at victory speech Tuesday night.
Sanford at victory speech Tuesday night.
Elizabeth Colbert Busch thanks supporters following Sanford's win in district race.
Elizabeth Colbert Busch thanks supporters following Sanford's win in district race.

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC/AP) - Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has redeemed a political career sidelined by scandal by winning his old congressional seat.

Sanford defeated Elizabeth Colbert Busch Tuesday in the state's 1st Congressional District. Colbert Busch is the sister of political satirist Stephen Colbert. With 71 percent of precincts reporting, Sanford has 54 percent of the vote.

At one time, Sanford was mentioned as a possible GOP presidential contender.

But his career unraveled when, as governor four years ago, he disappeared for five days, telling his staff he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. He returned to admit he had been in Argentina with his mistress. Sanford later paid a $70,000 ethics fine, the largest in state history.

Sanford has never lost a political race.

Results are below:

U.S. House of Representatives    
317 of 317 precincts reporting    
Mark Sanford (REP)  54% 77251
Elizabeth Colbert Busch (DEM)  45% 64413
Eugene Platt (GRN)  0% 689

Being a special election, polls were expected to be relatively busy, but election officials did not report anything out of the ordinary.

As for the two candidates, they were talking to voters and looking for any last minute votes earlier in the day as the race for the 1st District congressional seat looked closer than ever before with a recent poll showing Sanford ahead by one point.

Tuesday morning, Sanford arrived to a crowd of photographers at the school board building on Calhoun Street around 10 a.m. Sanford says he's tired, but cautiously optimistic about the 5-month campaign.

Meanwhile, Colbert Busch took a break from phone banking to cast her vote. She arrived around 11 a.m. at Moultrie Middle School to cast her vote. Afterwards, she told reporters that she still has a lot of work to do but she's predicting victory.

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