Jenny Sanford, former wife of former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, announced on Monday that she would not run against her ex-husband in an upcoming primary for a special election to fill a recently vacated congressional seat.
In an interview with, Jenny Sanford said, "I have no interest in running for Congress. I think my job as mom right now is much more important, much more rewarding and much more productive," Jenny Sanford told The Associated Press
. "The idea of killing myself to run for a seat for the privilege of serving in a dysfunctional body under John Boehner when I have an eighth-grader at home just really doesn't make sense to me."
The announcement came only three days after a report was leaked that her ex-husband would soon announce his candidacy for the seat. Prior to Jenny Sanford's withdrawal, the mother of four told reporters in December that she was strongly considering a run for South Carolina's 1st Congressional District. The congressional seat had recently been vacated by Republican Representative Tim Scott, who was recently appointed by Governor Nikki Haley to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jim DeMint on Jan. 1.
DeMint, a leading voice in the conservative Tea Party movement, went on to become president of The Heritage Foundation.
Jenny Sanford's exit from the race shouldn't be confused with an endorsement of her ex-husband's candidacy.
In an interview with CNN, Jenny Sanford said, "My ex-husband's going to have a number of questions. How he deals with them is going to make or break his campaign."
Despite the manner in which they parted, Sanford did compliment her ex in the same interview, adding, "You know, he did a good job as congressman. I guess he has just as much of a right as anybody else to run for Congress, and we'll see what happens."
In June 2009, Mark Sanford publicly revealed a long-time affair with Argentine journalist María Belén Chapur, following a State Ethics Commission investigation into allegations that he had misused state travel funds to conduct his affair. Sanford subsequently resigned from his position as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association, but remained in office until the end of his term on Jan. 12, 2011.
In February 2010, Jenny Sanford divorced her husband and took custody of their four sons.
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