[Ed. – Perhaps his having skipped town while governor to fly to Argentina to see his mistress was also a factor.]
The surprise defeat of South Carolina GOP Rep. Mark Sanford last night to a primary challenger, State Rep. Katie Arrington, who made his criticism of President Donald Trump a focal point of her campaign, brought into focus the looming presence the commander-in-chief has over an already chaotic midterm cycle for the Republican Party.
Sanford’s loss writes another bizarre chapter in a political career full of controversy and distraction.
Forced into political exile after lying about an extra-marital affair he was having while Governor of South Carolina, Sanford made an unexpected comeback in 2011. He won the Charleston-based congressional seat in a special election, and established himself as a fiscally conservative, libertarian-leaning voice and member of the House Freedom Caucus.
The loss makes Sanford the second House member to lose a primary this cycle after Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C. was defeated last month by pastor Mark Harris.