National Republicans pull support for Sanford

gsmith@islandpacket.comApril 17, 2013 

Following charges that Mark Sanford trespassed onto his ex-wife's property, the National Republican Congressional Committee has ended its help to Sanford, the Republican nominee in the 1st Congressional District race.

"Mark Sanford has proven he knows what it takes to win elections," said Katie Prill, spokeswoman for the NRCC. "At this time, the NRCC will not be engaged in this special election."

In recent weeks, the committee has worked on Sanford's behalf, raising questions about Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch's contributions from unions, highlighting apparent discrepancies about when she took a leave of absence from her Clemson University job to start her campaign and accusing her of dodging debates.

The group also released an ad through Vine -- a service that uses six second videos to convey messages on Twitter -- linking Colbert Busch to unions.

Sanford said in a statement Wednesday that he was at his ex-wife's house Feb. 3, watching the Super Bowl with the couple's 14-year-old son. He added he would not comment on the matter further.

The couple's divorce settlement says neither can enter the other's home without permission.

Jenny Sanford had previously warned Mark Sanford about coming to her home in the past and told him to stop, including having her attorney send a letter to him and police, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

Sanford must appear in court two days following the May 7th special election against Colbert Busch to respond to the charges, according to the media outlet.

Read more in tomorrow's The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette and follow reporter Gina Smith at twitter.com/GinaNSmith.

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