Mark Sanford announces campaign for Congress

Mark Sanford

It’s official. Mark Sanford, former Governor of South Carolina who received glowing marks on fiscal policy from the Cato Institute, announced yesterday that he will run in the special election for South Carolina’s First Congressional District:

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) announced he’s running for his old House seat on Tuesday, ending more than a month of speculation that he’d run.

“Officially we’re going to announce tomorrow, and then it’s off to the races,” Sanford told the conservative National Review. “What I’d like to do is take all that I’ve learned in my time in Congress and my governorship, on my way up and on my way down, and apply it to what is probably the most important debate that we will have in regard to the future of our country. I’m running because I care deeply about spending, and the mathematical impossibility of us continuing down the path we’re on.”
Sanford argued that he’d be the strongest candidate to take on deficit spending.

“I think if you look at the almost 20 years in the larger federal or state debate, what you see is an amazingly consistent record on looking out for the taxpayer and trying to impact that which I think worries a lot of people right now, that spending locomotive that we have going in Washington right now,” he said.

Sanford’s personal life will no doubt be brought up by his opponents on the campaign trail, but he has repeatedly apologized and believes that voters of the district, which he represented from 1995 to 2001, will give him another chance. Jenny Sanford, his ex-wife, was considering a run, but has decided against it.

Roll Call recently noted that Sanford, who has over $100,000 in his old federal campaign account, is the frontrunner in a race. While at least a few more candidates will announce, they’re going to have a tough time raising that kind of a war chest.

When Congress was passing bailouts and wasteful stimulus bill, Sanford served as a voice of reason. During the debate over TARP, Sanford wrote, “I am worried for our country — not so much because of the tumult in the financial markets but because of the federal government’s response and its implications.” He added, “American cornerstones such as individual initiative and an entrepreneurial spirit — born in free and open societies with private property rights and the rule of law — have never fit particularly well within the context of an ever-growing federal government.”

Sanford warned that the stimulus bill pushed by President Obama in 2009 would “make things worse,” noting that a “problem that was created by building up too much debt cannot be solved with yet more debt.”

As Jack Hunter recently explained, “[The] reemergence of Sanford at this particular moment is significant for the Republican Party and the nation.” He’s right. Republicans are far too willing to cut deals that continue to grow government and add to the national debt. His views are in line with those of the freedom movement. If elected, Sanford would bring a reasoned, experienced voice that is sorely needed in the halls of Congress.

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