Sanford, constituents react to election and turnout - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Sanford, constituents react to election and turnout

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By Stacy Jacobson
sjacobson@abcnews4.com

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Congressman-elect Mark Sanford called the 2013 special election the toughest of his life.

"I had serious personal blemishes to overcome in the campaign," he said. "The events of 2009 were well chronicled."

The mistakes were blemishes that some people got over.

"No one is perfect. We've all had stuff. It doesn't affect your work performance," said Irene Smith of Mount Pleasant.

But, others still could not get passed the mistakes and Sanford's election. 

"The Republicans claim they value family values and a moral majority and the Christian coalition and they didn't choose a candidate that represented any of those factors. It seemed to me to be a big hypocrisy," said Astrid LeNoir of James Island.

South Carolina's first district had an unofficial turnout of about 32 percent. That would be low for a presidential election, but not for a special election. The turnout surprised David Andrews, who voted for Sanford.

"I thought a lot of people just would not come out and vote that didn't want to vote for either one," the James Island resident said.

Not voting was exactly what Kara Grevey did. She said she couldn't bring herself to vote for Sanford because of his personal issues.

"Normally I'm a Republican so I don't know enough about how strong of a Democrat [Elizabeth Colbert Busch] is and whether it was worth voting for her," Grevey said.

Sanford said he wanted to shift to building the trust of his all constituents, whether or not he received their vote. But even those who voted for him wondered how he would work with others in Congress.

"We'll have to see. He's got experience. At least got that going for him," Andrews said.

ABCNews4 received a statement from one of Sanford's future colleagues, Rep. James Clyburn.

It reads: "Of course I am disappointed in the outcome of the 1st district race. Elizabeth was an outstanding candidate and would have made a wonderful member of Congress, but the majority of the voters in the First District felt otherwise. I have always worked with all members of the South Carolina delegation for the betterment of South Carolina and its people."


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