A veterans group has launched a TV ad against Republican South Carolina congressional candidate Mark Sanford, taking aim at his six-day disappearance as governor in 2009 that led to the discovery of his extra-marital affair.
The ad will run on broadcast and cable stations for a week at the price of $30,000, according to The Hill. It comes from VoteVets Action Fund and is narrated by National Guard veteran Barry Wingard.
“I was there when my country called, even deploying to Afghanistan at age 58,” he says. “Mark Sanford abandoned his post. No one, not even law enforcement or the National Guard, could reach him.”
Sanford went missing for six days in June 2009, with his office claiming he was “hiking the Appalachian Trail. Then he came out of hiding and said he was in Argentina conducting his affair.
“What are we supposed to do when we can’t get in touch with the leader,” Wingard says. “You can’t just walk away. If I had abandoned my post, I could be court-martialed. It really hurt me, and I think it betrayed all of South Carolina and all of the citizens."
This marks the third negative ad against Sanford released in the last two weeks. All three refer to his affair, though they don’t explicitly mention it.
Sanford trailed Democratic opponent Elizabeth Colbert Busch by small margins in recent polls. The election to fill the seat held by newly appointed Republican Sen. Tim Scott will be held May 7.
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