2020: Former Rep. Mark Sanford Considering Primary Challenge Against Trump

Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) addresses the crowd during a town hall meeting March 18, 2017 in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Protestors have been showing up in large numbers to congressional town hall meetings across the nation. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Former Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) is considering mounting a primary challenge to President Donald Trump in 2020, the ousted Never Trump lawmaker said in an interview this week.

In an interview with the Post and Courier, Sanford said his potential platform will focus on the United States’ growing debt and out of control government spending.

“Sometimes in life you’ve got to say what you’ve got to say, whether there’s an audience or not for that message,” Sanford told the Post and Courier. “I feel convicted.”

“I’m a Republican. I think the Republican Party has lost its way on debt, spending and financial matters,” he added.

The former lawmaker also said he is watching whether other staunch Never Trumpers, such as former Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), run against the president. Thus far, former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld (R) is the only one.

Sanford has made a series of statements attacking President Trump in recent years, even going as far as to partially blame him for the 2017 congressional baseball practice shooting in Alexandria, Virginia.

Last year, Trump-endorsed Katie Arrington beat Mark Sanford in the Republican primary for South Carolina’s 1st congressional district, but went on to lose the general election against her Democrat rival Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC).

Sanford infamously disappeared in 2009 and later admitted he had an extra-marital affair with Argentine journalist María Belén Chapur. As a result of the scandal, he was censured by the South Carolina General Assembly and resigned as chair of the Republican Governors Association. He did, however, still finish his second term as governor.

“The last time Mark Sanford had an idea this dumb, it killed his Governorship,” Drew McKissick, State Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, said of a possible bid by Sanford. “This makes about as much sense as that trip up the Appalachian trail.”

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