Marshall Clement "Mark" Sanford, Jr.

85th Governor of the State of South Carolina 2003 to 2011

Date Born: March 28, 1960

Date Died: Living

Place Born: Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Place Buried: TBD

Residence: Beaufort County, SC, then Charleston, SC

Occupation: Real Estate Investment


Furman University, B.A.: 1982

University of Virginia Darden School of Business, MBA: 1988

U.S. Representative from SC 1st District: 1995-2001

South Carolina Governor: 2003-2011


Marshall Clement "Mark" Sanford, Jr. was born on March 28, 1960 in Fort Lauderdale, FL, the son of Marshall Clement Sanford, Sr. and Peggy (Pitts) Sanford. Before his senior year of high school, Sanford moved with his family to the Coosaw Plantation near Beaufort, SC. Sanford received a B.A. degree in business from Furman University in 1983 and a MBA from Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia in 1988. Shortly afterward, he moved to Sullivan's Island, SC, an affluent suburban community off Charleston.

In 1989, Marshall Clement "Mark" Sanford, Jr. married Jennifer Sullivan. They had four sons.

In 1992, Marshall Clement "Mark" Sanford, Jr. founded Norton and Sanford Real Estate Investment, a leasing and brokerage company, and still owns the company.

In 1994, Sanford entered the Republican primary for the Charleston-based 1st U.S. Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The seat had come open after four-term Republican incumbent Arthur Ravenel declined to seek re-election in his ultimately unsuccessful run for governor. Despite having never run for office before, Sanford finished second in a crowded primary behind Van Hipp, Jr, a former George H. W. Bush administration official and former Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party. Sanford defeated Van Hipp in the runoff and easily defeated SC Representative Robert A. Barber, Jr. in the November general election.

Sanford was unopposed by Democratic candidates in 1996 and 1998. In both general elections, he beat Joseph Innella of the Natural Law Party.

In 2002, just before announcing he would run for governor, Sanford joined the Air Force Reserve.

Marshall Clement "Mark" Sanford, Jr. entered the gubernatorial election of 2002; he first defeated Lt. Gov. Bob Peeler in the Republican primary and then defeated the Democratic incumbent, Gov. James Hovis Hodges, in the general election. In accordance with SC law, Sanford was elected separately from the state's Republican lieutenant governor, Andre Bauer. Sanford's and Bauer's wins gave the Republicans full control of the South Carolina government for the first time since Reconstruction.

In 2003, after becoming governor, Sanford attended two weeks of training with the USAF Reserves in Alabama with his unit, the 315th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. While in training in 2003, Sanford did not transfer power to Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, saying he would be in regular contact with his office, and would transfer authority in writing only if he were called to active duty.

From June 18 until June 24, 2009, the whereabouts of Gov. Mark Sanford were unknown to the public, as well as to his wife and the State Law Enforcement Division, which provided security for him, garnering nationwide news coverage. Lt.Governor André Bauer announced that he could not "take lightly that his staff has not had communication with him for more than four days, and that no one, including his own family, knows his whereabouts."

Not long thereafter, Gov. Sanford had to admit that he was having an affair with an Argentine woman, María Belén Chapur, a 43-year-old divorced mother of two, claiming she was his soul mate. Sanford's wife ultimately divorced him, and later made his life so miserable that he eventually broke off the relationship with Ms. Chapur.

Following his tenure as governor in January of 2011, Sanford moved to his family farm in Beaufort County, SC and later moved to a condominium in Charleston, SC.

On May 7, 2013, Marshall Clement "Mark" Sanford, Jr. was once again elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, defeating Elizabeth Colbert Busch. He ran unopposed in 2014.


Mark Sanford was elected as South Carolina’s governor in 2002 and re-elected in 2006, becoming only the third two-term governor in modern state history.

His administration has been marked by a focus on improving people’s lives. By creating more economic opportunity, by watching out for the taxpayer, by working to reform government structure, by opening up South Carolina’s political system, and by bettering quality of life in the state, change of long-antiquated systems is beginning and South Carolina is becoming more competitive in the global economy.

Governor Sanford’s adopted budget proposals have saved tens of millions of dollars. In 2003, South Carolina was in a $1 billion financial hole, including a $155 million unconstitutional deficit. In contrast, the 2007 budget process started in the black for the first time in 16 years.

Under Governor Sanford’s leadership, South Carolina passed comprehensive tort reform and cut the marginal income tax rate – both firsts in state history. Today there are over 170,000 more people working than there were when Governor Sanford took office – a 15-year record for employment growth.

The DMV was brought into the governor’s Cabinet, and reforms there have reduced average wait times from 66 minutes to 15 minutes. The landmark campaign finance reform and Commerce disclosure reform bills signed by Governor Sanford have brought much needed sunlight and accountability to state government, and, for the first time ever, campaign disclosure reports are now available online. The governor has held monthly “Open Door After 4” meetings in his office, where anyone from anywhere in the state can come by for a visit.

The state passed first-of-its-kind charter school legislation to allow parents more choices in where their children attend school. As well, more land has been set aside during his governorship than under any other administration in South Carolina history.

Further restructuring of South Carolina’s antiquated system of government continues to be one of Governor Sanford’s top priorities in his efforts to bring more accountability and cost-effectiveness to the state.

Prior to being elected governor in 2002, Governor Sanford lived on the South Carolina coast with his wife, Jenny, and their four sons, Marshall, Landon, Bolton and Blake. Governor Sanford served six years in the U.S. Congress prior to his election as governor, and had no prior political experience before being elected to Congress in 1994.

During his time in Washington, Governor Sanford was a tireless advocate for the taxpayer. For his consistent efforts to lower taxes and limit government growth he was ranked #1 in the entire Congress by Citizens Against Government Waste. He was rated similarly by the National Taxpayers’ Union, and Taxpayers for Common Sense inducted him into the Taxpayers Hall of Fame. In his own Congressional office, he backed his voting record with personal action – returning over $200,000 (almost a third of his total office budget) each year to the taxpayers.

Governor Sanford learned the themes of hard work and frugality with his two brothers and sister on their family farm near Beaufort. He graduated from high school in Beaufort before attending Furman University in Greenville, where he received a B.A. in business. He later received an M.B.A. from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and went on to work in real estate finance and investment in New York and Charleston, SC.


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