Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) has won the run-off for the GOP nomination in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District, according to the Associated Press. Sanford held a strong lead throughout the early returns, against former County Councilman Curtis Bostic. Sanford will now face Elizabeth Colbert Busch in the general election May 7th.
With 97% of precincts reporting, Sanford led Bostic, 57-43, a decisive showing in a race that had garnered national headlines. In the days leading up to the run-off Rick Santorum, James Dobson, a number of evangelical leaders, as well as conservative columnist Ann Coulter gave strong endorsements to Bostic. They based their endorsements largely on personal mistakes Sanford had made.
Voters in the 1st District clearly believed Sanford’s public record and strong fiscal conservative principles trumped his personal scandal. In the days leading up to the election, there were reports that Bostic was surging on strong support from the evangelical community. Any surge in support for Bostic obviously fell far short of what he needed.
UPDATE: Mark Sanford told Breitbart News he was ready for the race ahead. “It begins tomorrow at around 5 in the morning,” Sanford said. “It goes full steam until May.” Sanford is aware that, despite the Republican lean in the district, Colbert Busch will have lots of national support and funding behind her. “We’re in the contrast phase of the campaign, however,” Sanford added. “Voters will be presented with two different visions of policy, two different visions of our country.”