Former Gov. Mark Sanford released his first ad of the special election race for South Carolina's First District on Monday, highlighting his record of fiscal conservatism during his tenure as governor, while also addressing the scandal that nearly brought it to an end.
Sanford begins the direct-to-camera appeal by focusing on his record, noting that "while many have talked," he has taken action to reduce deficits and "make government more accountable." The line echoes Sanford's campaign message in a field of 16 Republicans: though several have served in the state legislature, Sanford has served as both a state executive and in Washington, where he made a name for himself as a deficit hawk.
Sanford then transitions to his "mistakes," invoking the "God of second chances," without directly addressing the affair that forced him to resign as chairman of the Republican Governors Association and nearly led to his impeachment. "In that light I humbly step forward and ask for your help in changing Washington," he says.
The ad began running on cable throughout the district today and will run on broadcast television beginning next week, according to a release.
Sanford is hoping for a second chance on multiple levels -- not only a return to his political career, but also for a chance to take back the seat he held in Congress during the 1990s.
Sanford will face 15 other candidates in the March 19 Republican primary, including state Sen. Larry Grooms, state Rep. Chip Limehouse and Teddy Turner, son of media mogul Ted Turner. Sanford is widely expected to make it into an April 2 runoff, given his name recognition and donor base.