Disgraced former South Carolina Gov. MarkÂ Sanford is reentering the political limelight with a run for Congress three andÂ half years after he was famously caught cheating on his wife with an ArgentinianÂ journalist.
Sanford is expected to announce his bid forÂ South Carolina’s open seat in the U.S. House of Representatives this week, the Weekly Standard reported, citing sources close toÂ Sanford.
In a twist, Sanford’s ex-wife is alsoÂ rumored to be considering a run for the House seat, which was left vacant by TimÂ Scott when he was appointed to the Senate. Scott replaced Sen. Jim DeMint, whoÂ left the Capitol this month to run The Heritage Foundation, a Washington-basedÂ think tank.
Mark Sanford once held the House seatÂ himself, from 1995 to 2001. He did not run for reelection in 2000 and insteadÂ ran for governor. Sanford won the 2002 gubernatorial election and wasÂ successfully reelected in 2006.
He was once thought to be a potential 2012Â presidential contender, but his political aspirations were dashed when he wasÂ caught cheating on his wife in 2009.
The scandal surfaced after Sanford, a fatherÂ of four, mysteriously vanished on June 18, 2009 for six days. Sanford had toldÂ his staff that he had gone hiking on the Appalachian Trail, but in reality, heÂ was off in Buenos Aires cavorting with his Argentinian mistress, Maria BelenÂ Chapur.
His hiking story eventually foiled and hisÂ affair was revealed.
He later admitted to visiting Chapur and saidÂ Chapur was his ‘soul mate.’
‘I’ve been unfaithful to my wife,’ SanfordÂ said at the time. ‘I developed a relationship with what started as a dear, dearÂ friend from Argentina.’
Sanford said he wanted to try and mend hisÂ relationship with Jenny, his wife of 21 years, but she filed for divorce shortlyÂ thereafter.
Sanford’s affair didn’t stop him from seeingÂ out the end of his term for governor after South Carolina lawmakersÂ unsuccessfully called for his impeachment following theÂ revelations.
He was eventually forced to pay $74,000 inÂ ethics fines after the state ethics commission discovered Sanford’s use of stateÂ planes and campaign cash to orchestrate his affair.
Sanford is currently engagedÂ Chapur.