Dating lost spark
First elected to Congress in 1994, Sanford left when he was elected Governor of South Carolina in 2002, defeating Democratic incumbent Jim Hodges, and re-elected governor in 2006.As governor, Sanford had a contentious relationship with the South Carolina legislators.In the House, he has been identified as a libertarian Republican, In June 2009, after an unexplained disappearance that made national headlines, Sanford publicly revealed that he had engaged in an affair with María Belén Chapur, an Argentine woman. His parents were Marshall Clement Sanford Sr., a cardiologist, and his wife, the former Peggy Pitts.While it led to censure by the South Carolina General Assembly and his resignation as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, it did not result in Sanford's actual resignation from the governorship. Despite his family being fairly well-to-do, his entire family slept in the same room to conserve electricity.In 2002, just before announcing he would run for governor, Sanford joined the Air Force Reserve.
He was also recognized by Citizens Against Government Waste, as well as the National Tax Payers Union, for his efforts to rein in government spending and reduce the national deficit.
He founded Norton and Sanford Real Estate Investment, a leasing and brokerage company, in 1992, and still owns the company.
In 1994, Sanford entered the Republican primary for the Charleston-based 1st Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives.
The plan, known as "Put Parents In Charge", proposed to provide around ,500 per child to parents who chose to withdraw their children from the state's public school system and instead send them to independent schools.
Sanford framed this plan as a necessary market-based reform.
Sanford defeated Van Hipp in the runoff and easily defeated State Representative Robert A. in the November general election, winning by 66.3% to 32.4%.