Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Mark Sanford Could Face Stephen Colbert's Sister in Special Congressional Vote

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Mark Sanford Could Face Stephen Colbert's Sister in Special Congressional Vote

Article excerpt

Mark Sanford vs Stephen Colbert's sister?

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WASHINGTON - Mark Sanford's insistence four years ago that he went for an extended hike along the Appalachian Trail when he was really in Argentina with his extra-marital lover ended the former South Carolina governor's political career.

But now he's trying to stage a comeback, embarking upon a forgiveness tour of sorts as he urges the state's voters to give him a second chance.

The disgraced former governor is seeking the House of Representatives seat vacated by Tim Scott after the congressman's appointment to the U.S. Senate. Scott replaced South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, who stepped down in December to helm the right-wing Heritage Foundation.

"I've experienced how none of us go through life without mistakes," Sanford said in a TV ad released earlier this week in the so-called Palmetto State. "But in their wake, we can learn a lot about grace, a God of second chances, and be the better for it."

Sanford's 21-year marriage ended after his trip to Argentina was discovered and he proceeded to publicly wax poetic about being madly in love with his girlfriend. Sanford is now engaged to marry Marie Belen Chapur.

He was also slapped with an ethics fine for misusing taxpayer dollars, and forced to quit as head of the Republican Governors Association.

If Sanford, the current odds-on-favourite, succeeds in winning the party's nomination, he could very likely face the sister of comic Stephen Colbert, who's running for the Democrats in the same district in the March 19 election.

Considered a dark horse when she first announced her intentions, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, 58, is now in the process of sewing up the Democratic nomination after her main primary opponent dropped out of the race.

She recently won the endorsement of Rep. James Clyburn, the highest-ranking black member of the House of Representatives and the dean of the South Carolina Democratic delegation. Organized labour federations have also given her their stamp of approval.

A Sanford/Colbert-Busch showdown would be an electoral dream come true for the media -- and for Colbert himself, a native of Charleston, S.C., who once called the former governor as boring as "a manila envelope glued to a beige wall. …

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