Maria Belen Chapur: How She Will Help Mark Sanford’s Campaign

Mark Sanford won the South Carolina GOP primary Tuesday night, and who better to be at his side for his victory speech? His former mistress-turned-fiancée Maria Chelun Chapur. Sanford has gained a second life in the political world, as his victory serves as a major comeback from his adultery scandal just a few years ago. Oddly enough Chapur may just be the factor Sanford needs to lead a successful campaign to win back his congressional seat.

In 2009, Sanford was South Carolina’s governor. After taking a mysterious six-day hiatus, it was discovered he was traveling in Buenos Aires with a mistress who was later identified as Chapur. Once news of this scandal broke and Sanford separated from his wife Jenny, many presumed Sanford's aspirations for a long career in public service. However Tuesday’s victory suggests that Sanford has bounced back from every politician’s worst nightmare.

South Carolina has called for a special election due to Sen. Jim DeMint’s resignation to join The Heritage Foundation, a conservative based research institution. With Sanford’s GOP nomination for the vacancy, his main Democratic challenger will be that of Elizabeth Colbert Busch. Busch just so happens to be the sister of political satire show host Stephen Colbert.

As for Sanford, his new fiancée may strangely work to his advantage. Why? Simply put, she sparks conservation. The fact that Sanford has been able to recover from such a debilitating scandal has made him defy the odds of past politicians. On the same token Chapur has become a spectacle. Someone who once inherited the title of “the other woman” is now Sanford’s fiancée, awarding her with some newfound power. As the saying goes, “bad press is better than no press” and Sanford’s controversial relationship with his new fiancée may allow him to gain increased attention to win the vacant senate seat.

 

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Shawna Gillen

Shawna is currently studying Political Science and Psychology at Marist College. She has a passion for politics and is an aspiring lawyer. In her spare time she likes to play club women's rugby, and contributes as the Co-News Editor for Marist's student newspaper.

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