Arrington Wins Republican Nomination, Defeats Sanford in District 1 Race
CHARLESTON, SC (BRODIE HART, WTAT-TV) — In what many are calling a major upset, Republican candidate Katie Arrington wins the nomination for the first congressional district, defeating incumbent Mark Sanford.
“Like I said in the beginning, this isn’t a ‘me’ this is a ‘we’ moment,” said Arrington at her campaign watch party Tuesday.
Katie Arrington handed Mark Sanford the first loss of his political career Tuesday night.
“We’ll be taking our message throughout the district,” she said before a crowd of cheering supporters. “I will be talking to communities that have not heard the Republican message. I will campaign in places the Republican party has not gone and I will tell them my story.”
Scott Buchanan is a professor of political science at The Citadel and says Arrington’s support of the President may have helped her.
“I think she did it by aligning herself with Trump,” he said of her win.
President Trump reciprocated by sending out a late-in-the-afternoon tweet on Tuesday, slamming Mark Sanford and endorsing Arrington.
Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA. He is MIA and nothing but trouble. He is better off in Argentina. I fully endorse Katie Arrington for Congress in SC, a state I love. She is tough on crime and will continue our fight to lower taxes. VOTE Katie!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2018
Early Wednesday morning the President sent out another tweet congratulating Arrington on her victory.
“My political representatives didn’t want me to get involved in the Mark Sanford primary thinking that Sanford would easily win – but with a few hours left I felt that Katie was such a good candidate, and Sanford was so bad, I had to give it a shot.”
“It was very interesting that President Trump chose to weigh-in to this particular election and makes me wonder if he had some data that was giving him an indication that Sanford was going to lose,” said Buchanan.
Mark Sanford spoke at his watch party Tuesday night where he conceded to Arrington and tried to make peace with the first political loss of his nearly 25-year career.
“I need to accept the fact that I did my part in terms of trying to represent the people who I represent based on the promises I made running for office and whether they are out there buying that product is up to them,” he said.
“They believe in higher taxes, bigger government, fewer jobs and that is the problem,” said Arrington. A problem she vowed to fix Tuesday night as she rallied her supporters and chartered a course for November’s election.
“It’s time to reach out to our friends and our neighbors, and it’s time to unite and get to work and win in November,” she said.
The latest numbers from the Associated Press show Arrington defeated Mark Sanford by less than 4%, only about 2,500 votes.
On the Democratic side, Joe Cunningham won his side by about 705 of the votes.