Sanford defeats runoff primary challenger, advances to general election

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April 3, 2013

South Carolina

By Jennifer Springer

Charleston, South Carolina: Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford (R) cleared yet another hurdle yesterday in his long-fought attempt to re-enter public service, defeating challenger Curtis Bostic.[1] In the 1st congressional district Republican primary runoff, Sanford defeated Bostic, an ally of former incumbent Tim Scott (R) and former Charleston county council member, 56.58 percent to 43.42 percent.[1][2]

Sanford was widely expected to defeat Bostic, whose campaign was dwarfed by the better-known and better-funded former governor. Bostic commented in an interview prior to the election, “It certainly has been a David and Goliath race."[3]

Eighteen candidates, including two Democratic candidates and 16 Republican candidates, went head to head in primary elections on March 19.[4] Sanford beat Bostic decisively in the primary, but failed to get the 50 percent required to avoid a runoff.[2][5]

The election is being held to fill the seat left empty following the appointment of Tim Scott to the U.S. Senate.[6] Scott was appointed to the U.S. Senate by Gov. Nikki Haley (R) to replace Jim DeMint (R). DeMint decided to resign and head the conservative Heritage Foundation beginning in January 2013.[7] Polls will be open from 7am to 7pm.[8]

Sanford will face Democratic nominee Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, sister to The Colbert Report host, Stephen Colbert, and Green Party candidate Eugene Platt in the general election scheduled for May 7, 2013.[9][10][11] The general election race is expected to be tough for any Democrat. The Charleston-area seat has been a Republican stronghold for decades, and continues to lean Republican.[12][13] The last Democratic candidate elected was Mendel Jackson Davis in 1978.[14]

Bostic commented that Sanford's political history has left him a compromised candidate who would give the Democrats a shot at taking back a district they have not held in more than three decades.[15] Some speculate on what effect the "increasingly rancorous Republican primary" will have on the Republican nominee heading into the May 7 general election, and whether it might be a slight advantage to Colbert-Busch. Early indicators suggest the race between Colbert-Busch and Sanford will be competitive.[16][3]

U.S. House, South Carolina District 1 Special Runoff Republican Primary, 2013
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMark Sanford 56.6% 26,127
Curtis Bostic 43.4% 20,044
Total Votes 46,171
Source: Official results via South Carolina State Election Commission[17]

See also

Ballotpedia News


  1. 1.0 1.1 SC Votes "South Carolina's 1st congressional district Republican Runoff Primary Election" Accessed April 2, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 Open Secrets "Sanford Holds Financial Lead In South Carolina Runoff Race" Accessed March 30, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 Washington Post "Mark Sanford wins Republican runoff in South Carolina" Accessed April 2, 2013
  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named total
  5. NCSL "Primary Runoffs" Accessed April 17, 2013
  6. The Republic "Sanford's hopes of a political comeback rest with voters this week" Accessed March 17, 2013
  7. The Washington Post, "Gov. Nikki Haley to fill DeMint’s seat by appointment," December 6, 2012
  8. SC Votes "South Carolina Voting Information Page" Accessed March 18, 2013
  9. Post and Courrier "Former GOP Sen. Rick Santorum backs Curtis Bostic" Accessed March 27, 2013
  10. Politico "No joke: Stephen Colbert’s sister plans House bid," January 18, 2013
  11. South Carolina Republican Party Website "1st Congressional Special Election details set," accessed January 3, 2013
  12. MSNBC "Elizabeth Colbert Busch wedged in crowded special election race" Accessed April 17, 2013
  13. "Ted Turner’s son vying in SC congressional primary," January 23, 2013
  14. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress "Davis, Medel Jackson, (1942-2007)," accessed January 28, 2013
  15. SC Now "Sanford looks to clear second hurdle to comeback" Accessed April 2, 2013
  16. Politico "Mark Sanford advances to runoff" Accessed April 19, 2013
  17. SC Votes, "April 2 Republican Runoff Primary Election," accessed April 30, 2013