South Carolina special election: "Sugar, would you give me one more chance?"

There’s been no shortage of Republicans vying to take up the mantle for now-Senator Tim Scott’s vacated seat in South Carolina’s first Congressional district; and somehow, the favorite is the state’s erstwhile governor Mark Sanford, who finished out his second term in a blaze of scandal and is now on the hunt for a political comeback. One of his more formidable challengers for the Republican nomination is Teddy Turner, Charleston economics teacher and son of the famous media mogul, who’s been able to pick up some early interest and funding to support his bid.

The primary is on March 19, and the ads are already flying; last week, Team Sanford pushed an ad in which the former congressman-and-governor plaintively testifies that “none of us go through life without mistakes, but in their wake, we can learn a lot about grace, a God of second chances, and be the better for it.”

Ahem. Teddy Turner, it would seem, has no intention of pulling punches. Via Roll Call:

“We’ve come a long way. I know I’ve spent too much, but what’s a few trillion? It was all for you,” a Lothario-looking politician in a candle-lit room says in the spot. “But I’ve changed. I’ll keep my promises this time. It’ll be different. I’m sorry for all the mistakes I’ve made. Sugar, just give me one more chance.” …

The ad is a not-so-oblique knock at Sanford, the frontrunner who released an ad last week in which he said, “I’ve experienced how none of us go through life without mistakes.” …

Turner’s opponents in the March 19 GOP primary include Sanford, state Sen. Larry Grooms, state Rep. Chip Limehouse and former state Sen. John Kuhn. If, as expected, no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff will be held April 2.

The primary coming down to a runoff between Sanford and pretty much anybody else could be what jeopardizes his chances if it means focusing more attention on his dodgy personal history — which is why they’re going to keep beating the fiscally conservative drum real hard.