CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, seeking political redemption, wins US House seat .
With just under half the precincts reporting on Tuesday evening Mark Sanford had a 9 percent lead over challenger Elizabeth Colbert Busch for the US House Dist. 1 seat in South Carolina.
The results were much tighter just minutes earlier – just after 8 pm, with 30,000 votes total, the two were separated by only 270 votes.
But, when results came in just before 8:30, Sanford, the former governor, took a commanding lead.
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With 71 percent of precincts reporting, Sanford has 54 percent of the vote.
The Associated Press called the race in Sanford's favor just before 8:30.
Sanford's apparent win came after he was down by 9 points in polling just days ago. He managed to pull ahead in polls by 1 point just before Tuesday's election.
At one time, Sanford was mentioned as a possible GOP presidential contender.
But his career unraveled when, as governor four years ago, he disappeared for five days, telling his staff he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. He returned to admit he had been in Argentina with his mistress. Sanford later paid a $70,000 ethics fine, the largest in state history.
Sanford has never lost a political race.