Shared from the 9/9/2019 Houston Chronicle eEdition

Sanford to make bid for W. House

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Sanford

\COLUMBIA, S.C. — Mark Sanford, the former South Carolina governor and congressman, joined the Republican race against President Donald Trump on Sunday, aiming to put his Appalachian Trail travails behind him for good as he pursues an admittedly remote path to the presidency.

“I am here to tell you now that I am going to get in,” Sanford said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” “This is the beginning of a long walk.”

When asked why he was taking on an incumbent who’s popular within the party, Sanford, who has acknowledged his slim chances by saying he doesn’t expect to become president, said: “I think we need to have a conversation on what it means to be a Republican. I think that as the Republican Party, we have lost our way.”

Sanford, 59, joins Joe Walsh, a former tea-party-backed, one-term congressman from Illinois, and Bill Weld, the former Republican governor of Massachusetts, as primary challengers to Trump.

As Sanford sought re-election to his post representing South Carolina’s 1st District in 2018, drawing a primary challenger who embraced Trump, the president took interest in the race. State Rep. Katie Arrington repeatedly aired ads featuring Sanford’s on-air critiques of Trump and attached the “Never Trump” moniker to Sanford, a condemnation in a state that Trump carried by double digits in 2016.

Trump endorsed Arrington just hours before the polls closed, tweeting that Sanford “is better off in Argentina” — areference to Sanford’s secret 2009 rendezvous to South America for an extramarital affair while his in-the-dark gubernatorial staff told reporters he was hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Sanford won three terms for U.S. House in the 1990s, then two four-year terms as governor before the affair marred the end of his second term. He returned to politics acouple of years later and won aspecial election to his old U.S. House seat in 2013, holding on twice more.

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