Surprise defeat of S. Carolina GOP Rep. Mark Sanford magnifies the ‘Trump effect’ on GOP primaries

Surprise defeat of S. Carolina GOP Rep. Mark Sanford magnifies the ‘Trump effect’ on GOP primaries
Mark Sanford (Image: YouTube screen grab)

[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.

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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.

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