The marital problems of former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford (R) made national news; and now, a lawsuit filed by his former wife over his alleged failure to abide by divorce terms has the Republican national campaign organization dropping any plans to participate in his congressional campaign.
According to reports, the lawsuit filed by former wife Jenny is scheduled to go into court just a few days after the run-off election being held to fill the seat of Tim Scott (R-SC). Scott in turn was named to fill the Senate seat of departed Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), who left Congress to head a think tank.
Sanford’s opponent, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, has her own media connection – she’s the sister of Comedy Central star Stephen Colbert.
Given Sanford’s past problems and Colbert-Busch’s unusual name recognition, the race has been thought to be competitive.
Apparently, that opinion is no longer held by the National Republican Congressional Committee. It has made only nominal investments in this race thus far, but have announced there will be no more.
According to Politico, NRCC was thinking about dropping a great deal of cash into the race, possibly measured in the millions of dollars.
In a statement, NRCC said its decision to abandon the campaign is what happens when the candidate isn’t honest with potential backers. This statement is based on the fact that the lawsuit was filed in early February.
NRCC wonders what other surprises may be in store from Sanford. According to The Hill, an anonymous Republican strategists is hearing rumors that there are more damaging revelations on the way.
RBR-TVBR observation: If ever there was a “don’t count your chickens before they hatch” moment, this is it. Sanford v. Colbert-Busch is the only political game in town, and it was competitive in a district where the Democrats usually don’t have a chance.
That should have made the race a magnet for the influx of cash from national sources to defend the seat.
Charleston broadcasters should have had a nice surprise payday out of this, and maybe they still will, but it clearly won’t be as rich as it might have been.