(born May 28, 1960) is an American politician and author.
A Republican, Sanford is a former governor of South Carolina and a former member of the U.S.
House of Representatives.
Sanford served as the U.S.
representative for South Carolina's 1st congressional district from 1995 to 2001.
He won the 2002 South Carolina gubernatorial election, defeating Democratic incumbent Jim Hodges.
Sanford served as Governor of South Carolina from 2003 until 2011.
As Governor, he attempted to reject $700 million in stimulus funds for South Carolina from the federal Recovery Act passed in 2009; however, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that only the state legislature—and not the governor—had the authority to accept or decline the stimulus funds.
In June 2009, after having disappeared from the state for several days, Sanford publicly revealed that he had engaged in an extramarital affair.
Sanford had led his staff to believe that he was going hiking on the Appalachian Trail, but actually went to visit his mistress in Argentina.
While the scandal made national headlines, led to his censure by the South Carolina General Assembly, and led to his resignation as chair of the Republican Governors Association, Sanford did complete his second term as governor.
Sanford ran for Congress again in a 2013 special election for his old seat.
He subsequently won the election and served in Congress from 2013 to 2019.
He lost his 2018 re-election bid in a Republican primary.
In September 2019, Sanford announced that he would be a candidate for the Republican Party's nomination in the 2020 United States presidential election.