Mark Sanford will run for Congress

Chris Moody

Mark Sanford is hoping to master the art of the political comeback.

The disgraced former South Carolina governor, who drew national headlines in 2009 after disappearing for several days and later tearfully admitting to an extra-marital affair, will run for Congress, he told National Review's Jim Geraghty in an interview Tuesday.

Sanford stepped down as governor in early 2011.

He will seek the seat vacated by Republican Rep. Tim Scott, whom Gov. Nikki Haley tapped to replace Republican Sen. Jim DeMint after he left to head the Heritage Foundation.

From the report:

Geraghty: The word is that you’re going to run for the House of Representatives in South Carolina’s First Congressional District.

Mark Sanford: Officially we’re going to announce tomorrow, and then it’s off to the races.

Geraghty: Why are you running?

Sanford: For 20 years I’ve been out there, if you look at my record in both Congress and the governorship, talking about the fact that this moment would come. If we didn’t get our nation’s financial house in order, there would be dire consequences to the American taxpayer and to the American dream and for those in this generation and the next. I think we’ve reached that day of reckoning. It seems that we’re averting a new fiscal cliff or crisis every few months these days, and what the numbers point to is that the trend is going to intensify.

What I’d like to do is take all that I’ve learned in my time in Congress and my governorship, on my way up and on my way down, and apply it to what is probably the most important debate that we will have in regard to the future of our country. I’m running because I care deeply about spending, and the mathematical impossibility of us continuing down the path we’re on.

If successful, his victory will be somewhat of a homecoming. Sanford represented the First District of South Carolina in the House from 1995 to 2001 before he was elected to the governorship in 2003.

His ex-wife, Jenny Sanford, had mulled the option of running against him, but announced earlier this week that she would not take up a bid for the seat.