Mark Sanford is running for Congress because he believes our country’s future is at stake if we don’t get our hands around runaway government spending.
He first learned the themes of hard work and frugality growing up with two brothers and a sister on his family’s farm near Beaufort, SC. He has brought these lessons to Columbia, SC as governor and Washington, DC as a U.S. Representative, where his record as a fiscal reformer and budget cutter is incontestable. In today’s Congress, he is ranked 5th by the National Taxpayer’s Union in voting as an advocate for the taxpayer. He currently serves on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee and the Budget Committee.
As the 115th Governor of South Carolina, serving two full terms from 2003 until 2011, he accomplished a long list of firsts, among them the first cut to the marginal income tax rate in South Carolina history, the largest recurring tax cut in state history, the first of its kind tort reform, the first in workers comp reform, and the first in the nation statewide charter school reform. All these actions were aimed at making the state a more inviting place in which to invest and build a business and cumulatively led to $24 billion in capital investment – more in his governorship than during any other administration in South Carolina history.
His administration furthermore instituted changes that bettered people’s lives in South Carolina, whether that meant instituting business practices that moved wait times at the Department of Motor Vehicles from 66 minutes to 15 minutes, the first structural changes to the Department of Transportation since its inception, or in more land being preserved than during any other governorship.
He has always focused on stopping wasteful spending. He proposed the first operational executive branch budget in South Carolina history, and over his time in office closed a funding hole of nearly a billion dollars that he inherited upon arriving in Columbia. Mark was the first governor in the nation to refuse stimulus funding and fought against the stimulus all the way to the South Carolina Supreme Court. By the end of his second term, the CATO Institute ranked Mark the most fiscally conservative governor in America.
Prior to serving as governor, Mark represented South Carolina’s First Congressional District in Washington from 1995 until 2001, where he was ranked by Citizens Against Government Waste and the National Taxpayers Union as the most financially conservative Member in all of Congress for his efforts to rein in wasteful spending and reduce the national debt. Upon his return to Congress, he was named by the Washington Post as a “cast-iron conservative” in the House.
Mark attended Furman University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Business. He later received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. Mark has four sons, Marshall, Landon, Bolton and Blake. He currently lives in Mount Pleasant.