Mark Sanford's comeback campaign begins on Today Show - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Mark Sanford's comeback campaign begins on Today Show

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford appeared on the Today Show Tuesday morning to begin his journey back to the political spotlight and talk about his campaign for the state's First Congressional District seat.

The governor tried to stay on message about why he wants to regain a seat in Congress, but the interview quickly turned to discuss his fall from grace at a tearful news conference in June 2009 where he revealed an affair with an Argentinean woman.

Sanford has to endure painful re-tellings of that news conference during one of the state's most notorious political scandals.

Sanford's former press secretary, Joel Sawyer, who is now his political consultant, says the ex-governor has a shot at re-joining Congress because voters care more about government spending than his personal failings.

Sanford's critics sharply disagree.

Sanford is one of 16 GOP candidates vying for the seat, but polls show he is the frontrunner.

If the former governor can outlast his Republican challengers, he'd have to take on a Democrat -- many in the party think that will be Elizabeth Colbert Busch, sister of Comedy Central comedian Stephen Colbert.

Colbert Busch's entry into this race creates another surreal feature of a political contest being watched nationwide.

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