Rep. Mark Sanford: Demands From Ex-Wife Are 'Preposterous'

Image: Rep. Mark Sanford: Demands From Ex-Wife Are 'Preposterous' U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters/Landov)

Thursday, 04 Sep 2014 09:56 AM

By Jennifer G. Hickey

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South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford said Wednesday that accusations and demands made by his ex-wife, Jenny, including that he submit to a mental evaluation, are "preposterous, crazy and wrong."

Responding to allegations made by Jenny Sanford's lawyers in a family court motion filed last week, Mark Sanford said in a statement released to The Associated Press and posted on his Facebook page, the "different accusations and requests made are, by their very nature, preposterous, crazy, and wrong."

He contends the nature of the allegations and questions raised about his fitness as a father warranted a response to Jenny Sanford's charges.

In a four-page complaint, Jenny Sanford, through her attorneys, says there has been a substantial change of circumstances which merit the establishment of a schedule that limits the former South Carolina governor's visitation with their 16-year-old son.

In a thinly veiled reference to Sanford's fiancée, the complaint also seeks to mutually restrain both parties from exposing their son "overnight to a member of the opposite sex not related to the Plaintiff or Defendant through blood or marriage who could reasonably be construed as a paramour."

Jenny Sanford also requested her ex-husband undergo psychological tests and take anger management and parenting courses.

Sanford was elected last year to represent South Carolina's 1st Congressional District, a seat that was left vacant when fellow Republican Tim Scott was elected to the Senate.

The couple's public drama dates back to 2009, when Sanford, who was then governor, went missing for several days, telling his staff he was hiking along the Appalachia Trail. In fact, he was in Buenos Aires visiting his mistress, who is now his fiancée. Despite calls for his resignation, Sanford stood his ground and finished out his term in 2011.

The couple divorced in 2010.

In 2013, Jenny Sanford filed a lawsuit alleging that her ex-husband had trespassed on her property in violation of the terms of their divorce settlement, according to Politico.

She later dropped the charges.

While the allegations and ongoing divorce drama are making headlines, political analysts do not believe they will make much difference in Sanford's re-election.

College of Charleston political science chairman Gibbs Knotts told the Charleston Post and Courier that he is a Republican in a solidly Republican district.

"I just don't see Republicans deciding to abandon Sanford and vote for a Democrat in a general election because of this type of personal issue," he said.

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