Mark Sanford, the former Republican governor of South Carolina, has won a special election and regained his old congressional seat, reviving a political career that had been derailed by admissions of an extramarital affair.
Sanford defeated Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch Tuesday by a margin of 54 percent to 45 percent to replace former Rep. Tim Scott, who was appointed by Governor Nikki Haley to fill an open U.S. Senate seat.
Sanford held the seat for six years before he was elected South Carolina's governor in 2001. In 2009, during his second term, he admitted to an affair with an Argentinean woman after he disappeared from the state for five days, telling his staff he was mountain hiking.
Sanford later paid a $70,000 ethics fine for using public money to travel for personal reasons. He eventually divorced his wife and is now engaged to the woman, Maria Belen Chapur.
The race attracted national attention because of Sanford's ethics problems and the candidacy of Colbert Busch, who is the sister of television political satirist Stephen Colbert. She was seeking to become the first Democrat to represent the heavily Republican district since the early 1980s.