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Sanford Gets Republican Challenger

Race will be a litmus test for support for President Donald Trump

In announcing her campaign, South Carolina state Sen. Katie Arrington made it clear she was going after “career politician” Mark Sanford. (VoteKatieArrington.com)
In announcing her campaign, South Carolina state Sen. Katie Arrington made it clear she was going after “career politician” Mark Sanford. (VoteKatieArrington.com)

South Carolina state Sen. Katie Arrington announced Wednesday she will stage a primary challenge against Republican Rep. Mark Sanford.

In her announcement, Arrington said Sanford is more focused on garnering national media attention than addressing the needs of the district.

“Simply put: Mark Sanford has become Washington,” Arrington said, the Post and Courier of Charleston reported.

Arrington already has the support of two major figures in South Carolina politics: state House Speaker Jay Lucas, and state Senate majority leader Gary Smirill.

Sanford has emerged as a vocal critic of President Donald Trump, writing an op-ed in the New York Times last year that Trump should release his tax returns.

Arrington said she is pro-life and supports gun rights but made it clear she was targeting Sanford, who represented the 1st District in the 1990s and reclaimed the seat in 2013, the newspaper reported.

Arrington said the race will be a fight for who will stand with Trump and “not bash him to leftist cheerleaders.”

Arrington also used Trump’s slogan of “Drain the swamp” to say she will send Sanford “home from the Beltway.”

Sanford responded to her candidacy, saying he looked forward “to a contest of ideas.”

If she wins, Arrington said she would accept only a salary of $52,000, the average salary of a resident in the 1st District, and donate the rest to charities, according to the Summerville Journal-Scene.

“I will donate the rest that Mark Sanford has pocketed year after year after year,” she said. “I want to be a politician you can be proud of.”