In the the race to fill the vacant seat left by former Congressman – now Senator – Tim Scott (R- South Carolina), we have disgraced former Gov. Mark Sanford (R-South Carolina) and Curtis Bostic. Sanford failed to received 50% of the vote, which means there’s going to be a runoff election on April 2.
Robert Behre of the Post and Courier wrote yesterday that:
Bostic said Sanford stole tax money, abandoned his post, lied to the people of South Carolina and broke ethics laws.
“I think it’s entirely appropriate that we forgive Governor Sanford for those failures,” he said. “But I also think it’s entirely appropriate that we want more from people in office than to lie to us and steal from us and violate ethics regulations.”
Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer said Bostic seems to have had a dramatic flip-flop in less than 24 hours.
“He ran this race selling voters on the idea of a positive, issues-oriented campaign, only to go back on his word just a day after the polls close,” Sawyer said. “That’s exactly what we don’t need in Washington, yet another person who says one thing and does another.”
Both men have similar positions on the Second Amendment, the right to life, reducing the size of government, and the economy. “They are very similar on their positions on just about every issue out there…I guess, unfortunately, they’re going to go after each other,” said Charleston County GOP Chairwoman Lin Bennett.
Robert Stacy McCain of ViralRead also posted yesterday that Bostic felt a “very strong anti-Sanford sentiment out there…[when] describing many in the coastal Lowcountry district as being ready to vote for ‘anybody but Sanford.” As McCain said, Bostic has:
…strong evangelical support. Bostic’s campaign Web site is called StopSpending.com – a popular Tea Party theme…features a large photo of the candidate with his wife Jenni and their five children.
Bostic’s wife is featured in a campaign TV ad, explaining that “in 2002, our commitment to life was seriously tested” when she became pregnant after undergoing cancer treatments. “Doctors … warned us of the possibility of serious complications,” Jenni Bostic says in the ad, while an intrumental version of “Amazing Grace” plays in the background. “They made the argument that we already had four wonderful healthy children and the pregnancy could cause my cancer to return. Curtis and I trusted God, and chose life.” The ad ends were her being joined by the couple’s 10-year-old son.
As for Sanford, he:
…subsequently revealed that he had been in Argentina, where he was having an affair with María Belén Chapur. “The incident led to scrutiny of Sanford’s travel as governor and a record $74,000 state ethics fine,” theCharleston Post and Courier reports. Sanford’s wife divorced him in 2010. Alex Isenstadt of Politico wrote Wednesday:
The last thing former Gov. Mark Sanford needs the 1st Congressional District race in South Carolina to be about is family values. Yet his opponent in the April 2 Republican runoff – a Christian conservative activist who has put his picture-perfect family front and center of his insurgent campaign – threatens to create just such a contrast.
When it comes down to it, the people will – or should – pick the principled conservative in the room, not the Argentinean backpacker. While both men hold similar views on the issues, it’s Bostic that represents them faithfully. Given Bostic’s showing in the polls driven solely by grassroots work, it seems his campaign is hoping for a Ted Cruz moment. Cruz, who is now a U.S. senator, faced a similar situation against David Dewhurst in Texas. Nonetheless, his grassroots network, along with bloggers, helped him force a runoff – which he won – during Texas’ U.S. Senate election in 2012.
If Bostic can drum up the same support, he has a good chance of winning, especially with his views and family image. However, unlike Cruz, Bostic only has two weeks to create this upswell of support, but anything can happen.