Mark Sanford loses to Katie Arrington in Republican race for Congress

Mark Sanford monitors election results in the June 2018 GOP primary during a watch party at Liberty Tap Room in Mount Pleasant (WCIV)

UPDATE: The Associated Press called the race in favor of Katie Arrington shortly after 12 a.m. Wednesday. President Donald Trump is crediting his endorsement for the outcome. (READ MORE)
U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford is trailing in the Republican congressional primary to an opponent supported in last-minute tweets by President Donald Trump.

As results came in Tuesday, Sanford told a crowd in suburban Charleston: "I've always been a realist and at this point, based on the numbers I see, I'm going to lose this race."

With much of the vote counted, state Rep. Katie Arrington was on the cusp of winning outright. But as Sanford spoke, the race was still too close to call.


Arrington says Sanford criticized Trump too much, calling him a "Never Trumper." One ad said "it's time for Mark Sanford to take a hike -- for real this time." The refers to 2009, when Sanford's aides said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail while he actually visited a woman with whom he was having an affair in Argentina.

"Promises I made are not being bought in this political climate," Sanford told supporters.

Sanford has never lost an election in South Carolina, including two terms in the U.S. House after the affair surfaced.

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