The once seemingly safe former South Carolina governor, who’s never lost a bid for political office, is sweating in the final days of his primary race against state Rep. Katie Arrington, a political newcomer who’s cast Sanford as a disloyal Never-Trumper.
Over the past several weeks, Sanford has launched an 11th-hour TV advertising blitz going directly after Arrington, a sure indication that he’s under duress. He’s barnstorming his Lowcountry district. And on Sunday, he released a full-page letter to a local newspaper in which he pleaded with voters to “look at the list of things I have gotten done on your behalf” and asked them to call him on his personal cell phone if they had any questions.
Sanford is one of a string of Republican lawmakers under mounting pressure over their allegiance to the president. Alabama Rep. Martha Roby, who vowed not to vote for then-candidate Trump after the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape in which he bragged about sexually assaulting women, has been forced into a primary runoff. On Tuesday, Virginia Rep. Scott Taylor is facing a long-shot challenge from a former local official who has highlighted critical comments the congressman made about the president.