Sanford overcomes past, Bostic for SC-1 runoff win

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV/AP) - Former Gov. Mark Sanford has won the Republican primary runoff in the state's First District, according to the Associated Press.

With 78 percent of precincts reporting, Sanford had about 56 percent of the vote to 44 percent for Curtis Bostic, a former Charleston County Council member. The candidates were vying Tuesday in a GOP runoff in the 1st Congressional District, which covers the south coast.

Bostic thanked his team of volunteers for their hard work. he also congratulated Sanford.

"I congratulate the governor in this race. What a great job they did. He's been good with the money," Bostic said.

When asked what's next, Bostic said he was happy "being Curtis."

"I'm content," he said.

In his victory speech, Sanford called Bostic a gentleman in the race. He added that he was humbled by the support the 1st District showed him. He also thanked his fiancee, Maria Belen Chapur, for attending the victory party and sticking by him through the race and their rocky beginning.

"I'm incredibly humbled, incredibly gratified, incredibly thankful for this night," Sanford said.

Sanford's political career was derailed four years ago by his admission of an extramarital affair.

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) released the following statement regarding Mark Sanford's nomination in the Republican runoff contest for South Carolina's 1st Congressional District.

"Voters in South Carolina have spoken and congratulations are in order for Mark Sanford as the victor in South Carolina's Republican runoff election," said Walden. "South Carolina families clearly deserve a continuation of the strong fiscal discipline displayed by now-Senator Tim Scott and will greatly benefit from Sanford's fiscal hawk approach. Without a doubt, Mark Sanford will campaign tirelessly to grow South Carolina jobs and work to get our nation's massive spending problem under control."

Sanford will face Elizabeth Colbert Busch in the May 7 primary.

The Elizabeth Colbert Busch for Congress campaign released a statement reacting to Mark Sanford's special election primary victory over Curtis Bostic late Tuesday night.

"I look forward to a vigorous campaign that focuses on creating jobs, balancing our country's budget and choosing an independent-minded leader who shares the values of the great people of South Carolina," Elizabeth Colbert Busch said. "As a businesswoman, I will use my experience to cut waste in Washington, lower tax rates so small businesses can create jobs and do the people of South Carolina proud as their representative."

"We need a voice in Washington who stands up for South Carolina solutions - not either political party. And my business experience will get the job done."

Recently released internal polling by the Colbert Busch campaign showed her leading Sanford by as much as 3 points ahead of Tuesday's run-off. A separate poll conducted by the independent Public Policy Polling group also showed Colbert Busch leading Sanford with 45 percent favorability with just 31 percent unfavorability to Sanford's 34 percent favorability and 58 percent unfavorability rating.

"The families of this district need a representative who they can trust," campaign spokesman James Smith said. "Mark Sanford simply has the wrong values for our community - whether that's his terms as Governor or the last time he was in Congress, where he opposed commonsense measures like the Violence Against Women Act, which provides shelters and resources for domestic violence survivors. On issue after issue, Mark Sanford doesn't reflect the values of South Carolina."

The Colbert Busch campaign wasted no time soliciting supporters for help. By 10 p.m., the first campaign email was pushed out, telling people how to support the Democratic candidate.