South Carolina Special Election Gets a Big Dose of Rick Santorum

There is a special election going on South Carolina for a free U.S. House seat that is taking on surreal airs. South Carolina's disgraced ex-Governor Mark Sanford, he of South American mistresses and "losing himself" on the  Appalachian Trial, faces a primary run-off with the Christian right. In the general election, the winner will face a Colbert. Yes, that Colbert. His sister is the Democrat nominee. She trounced her primary opponent to take the nomination.

Politicos and satirists are no doubt eyeing this race with glee, malicious or otherwise. The National Journal expresses a clear sentiment at the prospect of Sanford (or Bostic) vs Colbert’s sister.

"If only for entertainment, the most compelling contest this year is South Carolina’s special election, which could pit former Gov. Mark Sanford against the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert. If Sanford wins a runoff Tuesday against conservative activist Curtis Bostic — hardly a foregone conclusion — he would face Elizabeth Colbert-Busch on May 7."

Not surprisingly, religious rightist Rick Santorum is stumping for Curtis Bostic as he attempts to defeat the popular Sanford. The lessons from 2012 are already forgotten in the Santorum camp. Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock are, apparently,a distant memory. The Washington Post quotes Santorum’s statement in support of Curtis:

"'I’m pleased to announce our endorsement of Curtis Bostic in South Carolina’s first congressional district,' Santorum said in a statement distributed by the Bostic campaign. "Curtis’ groundswell finish to a runoff spot signals a win for the strength of his grassroots supporters and his robust conservative values.'"

Sanford won a plurality with 37% of the primary voting and Bostic barely managed enough votes to cause the run-off. There was even some confusion if there was going to be run-off at all. That said, this is a decent point and one that might give hope to Bostic:

"Sanford had way, way, way more name recognition than any of his opponents last night and still couldn’t get to 40 percent, so there’s obviously some anti-Sanford sentiment out there."

Things are pretty tense between Sanford and Bostic, or rather between their consultants. There was a nice little dust-up on ListServ as well as claims of illegal fundraising.

"Donehue told Whispers he 'would like nothing more than to expose the deceptive and shady tactics that occurred this week' but couldn't do so until after the run-off."

Sanford does have friends and has picked up the endorsement of the Republican Liberty Caucus as a counterweight to Santorum and chums.

"South Carolina Lowcountry RLC Chairman Daniel Encarnacion says the decision comes down to over-spending by Congress. 'The bottom line is Mark Sanford is able to list specific programs that need to be cut or reformed to address out of control spending. He clearly has a grasp on the issue. Anyone can say he wants to stop spending but we need to send someone to Washington who will actually tell us how.'"

All eyes will be on the Tuesday’s runoff to see which one gets to face the far better-funded Colbert. It has been 30 years since a Democrat held the seat, but stranger things have happened.

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Andrew Ian Dodge

Andrew Ian Dodge is a freelance writer (PJM, Daily Caller, Washington Examiner, The Commentator to name a few), novelist, author (of Statism Sucks! 2.0), rock/metal columnist for Blogcritics.com (as Marty Dodge), blogger, and former Tea Party Patriots coordinator for Maine. He is 40 something and married to Kim. He ran for US Senate in Maine in 2012 where he was endorsed by the Libertarian Party of Maine and Gary Johnson, Libertarian for President.

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