Mark Sanford’s political comeback gets its first test tomorrow.
The former South Carolina Republican congressman (1995-2001) and governor (2003-2011) who acknowledged an extramarital affair in 2009 is likely to finish first in a House primary, though probably without the majority-vote threshold needed to win the party nomination outright, in his bid for a return to Congress.
The biggest question is which one of Sanford’s 15 Republican opponents will secure the second berth in a runoff election scheduled for April 2 in the 1st District in and around Charleston.
The other Republicans include Curtis Bostic, a trial lawyer and former county councilman; Larry Grooms, a state senator; John Kuhn, a former state senator; Chip Limehouse, a state representative; and Teddy Turner IV, a son of billionaire media executive Ted Turner.
Most of the main Republican contenders are partially self-financing their campaigns, led by at least $600,000 from Limehouse and $500,000 from Kuhn.
The two-candidate Democratic primary will produce an outright winner: Elizabeth Colbert Busch, a business development official with Clemson University and an older sister of the political satirist Stephen Colbert.
The Democratic and Republican winners will face off in the May 7 special election. The 1st District, which leans Republican, was vacated in January after Republican Tim Scott was appointed to the Senate.