Winthrop Professor not surprised to see Sanford return to politics

Posted January 16, 2013 7:27 pm | Filed under Local News

Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford’s hiatus from the public world of politics came to an end Wednesday as the Congressman-turned-Governor declared his candidacy for the First Congressional District seat in the U.S. House.

Sanford told WTMA-AM in Charleston Wednesday despite his flaws, he is proud of his conservative record in Congress, especially on economic issues.

Sanford left the Governor’s Mansion in 2001 following tumultuous two terms in office; with the tipping point breaking  in the summer of  2009 with a tear-felt admission of marital infidelity in front of dozens of reporters at the State House.

Winthrop University political science professor Scott Huffmon says that despite his personal baggage, Sanford’s return to politics comes after Americans seemed to forgive former president Bill Clinton for his similar misdeeds.

Huffmon says since Sanford’s exit from the governor’s mansion in 2011, there have been subtle hints of his return to politics. In May 2011, Huffmon says he saw Sanford in Greenville before a Republican Presidential Primary Debate speaking with supporters.

Huffmon says the former governor has the opportunity to be much more effective in Congress than in the State House.

This time around though, Sanford’s ex-wife, campaign manager and longtime confidant Jenny Sanford will not be involved in his candidacy.

She told reporters earlier this week she is looking forward to watching the race unfold from the sidelines.

The South Carolina Radio Network and WTMA contributed to this story.