Congressman Mark Sanford – 1st District
Mark Sanford represents the First District of South Carolina, which covers the so called “Lowcountry” of the state, and was sworn into the 113th Congress after winning a special election in May 2013.
He first learned the themes of hard work and frugality growing up with two brothers and a sister on their family farm near Beaufort, SC. He has brought these lessons to Columbia, S.C., as Governor and Washington, D.C., as a U.S. Representative, where his record as a fiscal reformer and budget cutter is incontestable.
As the 115th Governor of South Carolina, serving 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 DMV wait times from 66 minutes to 15 minutes, the first structural changes to the Department of Transportation since 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 near billion dollar funding hole 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 state 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.
Mark attended Furman University where he received a BA in Business. He later received an MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. Mark has four sons, Marshall, Landon, Bolton and Blake, and is engaged to Maria Belen Chapur. He currently lives in Charleston.