COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - A website connecting users looking for casual, and often extramarital, affairs is making Mark Sanford the face of their new marketing campaign.
AshleyMadison.com unveiled a billboard on Interstate 26 in Columbia, which shows a younger Mark Sanford smiling, next to the words, "Next time use....AshleyMadison.com to find your 'running mate'."
The sign refers to the Republican's extramarital affair with Maria Belen Chapur, who shocked many by appearing at Sanford's primary victory party earlier this year. It was the first public appearance Chapur made alongside Sanford, who was surprised himself to see her arrive.
"South Carolina is the land of strange politics and in essence, dirty political tricks," Sanford says. "I think the reality we've all seen over the years, is you never know quite what's coming in the last week of a campaign and I put this in that category."
According to AshleyMadison.com Founder & CEO Noel Biderman, said "Mark Sanford's overcome a series of personal and professional hurdles to earn his place back in public service. While he recognizes the consequences of his actions, he maintains that his affair refined his life, but should not define it."
Biderman hopes his campaign will strike a chord with voters to help secure Sanford's place back in office. "There's a changing tide," Biderman adds. "More and more Americans are willing to forgive and forget. Millions of people have affairs and powerful politicians are no exception."
The naughty dating site said they plan to add several more billboards in the weeks leading up to the big special election on May 7.
Sanford will face Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch and Green Party Candidate Eugene Platt for the 1st Congressional District seat left vacant by now-Senator Tim Scott.