CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP/WVOC/Fox News Radio) - Former Republican Governor Mark Sanford and Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch squared off in a spirited debate Monday night in the race for the state's vacant 1st Congressional District seat.
Sanford stressed his efforts to rein in spending. But Colbert Busch reminded Sanford that he used taxpayer funds to travel to Argentina for an extramarital affair.
“When we talk about fiscal spending and we talk about protecting the taxpayers, it doesn't mean you take that money we saved and leave the country for a personal purpose,” she said. Sanford didn't respond.
Colbert Busch cited her business experience and criticized Sanford for voting in Congress against harbor dredging and building a higher bridge for the Port of Charleston. Sanford said it must not have bothered her too badly.
“I would just humbly suggest on that one that if it was not simply a political statement at this moment, I don't think that you would have written me a $500 check after I left the United States Congress as I began to run for governor,” he said.
But Colbert Busch responded that Sanford had told her he supported trade and dredging. She then turned to him and said he didn't tell the truth.
The two will be on the ballot for a special election in one week – along with Green Party candidate Eugene Platt – to fill the vacant congressional seat once held by now-U.S. Senator Tim Scott.