Sanford Unlikely to Get 2014 Primary Challenge
Posted at 6:29 p.m. on May 15
(Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images File Photo)
Rep. Mark Sanford, who was sworn into the House Wednesday, is unlikely to have a primary challenger in the coming cycle, or any cycle, according to Republicans plugged into Palmetto State politics.
The consensus among state operatives and consultants is that if former governor can avoid any missteps, he will have a lock on the 1st District.
“If he votes right and is controversy-free, it’d be pretty hard to mount a challenge, assuming there nothing out of the ordinary occurs, ” said South Carolina GOP consultant Warren Tompkins.
Despite his tarnished reputation
, a pair of his primary challengers’ consultants offered little evidence that anyone is raring for a rematch in the June 2014 primary. Matt Beynon and Hogan Gidley say they hear little chatter about any ambitious Republicans planning to take on Sanford.
“The ball is in Sanford’s court at this point,” Beynon said. How Sanford votes and performs on the casework front will be crucial to fending off a challenger, he added.
Part of the reason for his electoral security are the margins of his special election victories. He easily cruised passed the primary and runoff and won a fiercely contested general election against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch by 9 points.
“The time to have beaten Mark Sanford has passed,” Gidley said. “It is probably now his seat for as long as he wants it.”