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Mark Sanford
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Mark Sanford

Former South Carolina congressman

  • Mark Sanford drops out of race 11/12/2019
  • Sanford, former congressman, 1995 to 2001, returning 2013 to 2019
  • Former governor of South Carolina, 2003-2011
  • born May 28, 1960, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  • graduated Furman University, 1983, University of Virginia, 1988 (MBA).
  • In 2009, as governor, Sanford disappeared. His staff said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, but he was in Argentina visiting his mistress.

Sanford on impeachment:

“Though it may be justified, it will bring tremendous discord within the political system that will then usurp the electoral process that’s now taking place on the Democratic side.” Source:

Slogan: Financial Conservative



Mark Sanford's view on

Health care

In 2017, Sanford co-sponsored a bill with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul that would have repealed Obamacare and replaced it with private health care options.

Sanford is anti-abortion and endorsed a 2007 bill that would have required women to see an ultrasound image of a fetus before having an abortion.

Mark Sanford's view on


Sanford supports the Second Amendment and voted to make conceal-carry permits valid in other states.

Mark Sanford's view on

Climate change/environment

As a congressman, he worked with other GOP lawmakers on a bill to “address the causes and effects” of climate change.

But he thinks a carbon tax would hurt the economy and is skeptical of international climate deals that go easy on high-polluting nations like India and China.*

Mark Sanford's view on

Immigration/child-parent separation, detention and border wall

Sanford supports building a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

He wants to pressure employers to use the e-verify system to ensure workers are in the country legally.*

He voted for penalizing sanctuary cities.**

*“I do think it makes sense to have a secure wall,” he said. “The idea of a thousand people walking across your border is to make a mockery of the notion of rule of law.”


Mark Sanford's view on

Economy/minimum wage/income inequality

Sanford plans to make spending, the debt and deficit the primary focus of his campaign.*

But he voted in favor of the 2017 Republican tax plan, which has contributed to a rising deficit.

The libertarian Cato Institute recognized Sanford as the most fiscally conservative member of Congress.**

*“The president has called himself the king of debt, has a familiarity and comfort level with debt that I think is ultimately leading us in the wrong direction.”


“Not dealing with it could crush our economy. It could wipe out whatever we’ve saved. It could even destroy our republic.”

Mark Sanford's view on

Education/student debt/free tuition

Sanford opposes Common Core.

He supports merit pay for teachers and endorsed voluntary teacher-led school prayer and having the Ten Commandments on display in public schools.

Sanford has advocated for abstinence-only sexual education programs.*

Sanford has not yet made any statements on higher education.

Mark Sanford's view on

Foreign policy

He has called U.S. intervention in foreign wars “catastrophic” and doesn’t support meddling in other countries’ affairs.*

He said North Korea “needs to do some things that show verification before we step out in trusting them and meeting with them.”**

Mark Sanford's view on


Sanford believes military actions directed by the White House require the authorization of Congress.

Mark Sanford's view on


After Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced plans to crack down on businesses that sell marijuana products in states where the drug has been legalized, despite a federal ban, Sanford spoke out against the action on the floor of the House.*