Rep. Mark Sanford Wont Endorse GOP Candidate for His Seat

Outgoing South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford will pack up his House office in January, but not before sending a message. 

Sanford will not endorse his Republican primary rival Katie Arrington in her bid for his 1st District seat, he confirmed to the Post and Courier on Monday.

“Part of leadership, at times, means knowing when it’s best to keep quiet,” Sanford told the paper. “To me, this is probably one of those times.”

Sanford’s stance comes days before Election Day, as Arrington faces an unusually competitive contest in what is supposed to be a slam-dunk district for the GOP.

In her matchup against Democrat Joe Cunningham, Nathan L. Gonzales rates the district Solid Republican. Still, the National Republican Congressional Committee dropped $87,000 into the district this week, calling attention to the race. 

In a bruising primary battle, Arrington successfully challenged Sanford, a member of the deeply conservative Freedom Caucus, from the right. Support for President Donald Trump proved to be a decisive fault line. 

Arrington appealed to the Trump’s base, while Sanford was an occasional thorn in the president’s side on cable news. For example, he staked out opposition to Trump’s divisive and sometimes violent rhetoric in the wake of the shooting at the Republican team’s congressional baseball practice last year. He said the president’s verbal attacks were “partially” to blame for the country’s fierce political divisions.

Trump endorsed Arrington on Election Day. “Mark Sanford has bee....

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