Mark Sanford did more than stump the pundits last night by winning a special election for the congressional seat vacated by Tim Scott, South Carolina’s newly appointed senator. He even defeated Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch in her home county of Charleston, the most moderate part of the district.
In the end, Sanford was able to effectively tie Colbert Busch, the sister of Comedy Central star Stephen Colbert, to House minority leader Nancy Pelosi. He claimed her first loyalty would be to her liberal agenda rather than to the conservative district. Then there was the curious stealth campaign that Colbert Busch ran. “While the former governor barnstormed the district, Colbert Bush seemed to be in hiding,” Politico reported. “At a Chamber of Commerce forum last week, the Democrat delivered four minutes of remarks and was then hustled out of the room by a team of handlers. As baffled reporters trailed, Colbert Busch made a beeline for the parking lot.”
The race became a contest between the all-too-well-known Sanford, who at least had a consistent conservative record in office, and the mysterious Colbert Busch. Voters went for the known quantity.
Everyone laughed and snickered when Sanford resolved to reclaim the congressional seat he gave up because of a self-imposed term limit in 2000. Since then, Sanford had gone on to become South Carolina governor, ending his successful two terms with a tumble into humiliating personal scandal. He sought political redemption in seeking the congressional seat and has won it. He no doubt will now have the most name recognition of any South Carolinian serving in Congress. Here’s hoping he puts it to good use on the fiscal and economic issues he knows so well.