Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has won election to the House, redeeming his political career after it was derailed by scandal four years ago.
Sanford, a Republican, defeated Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch on Tuesday in the state's 1st Congressional District. Colbert Busch is the sister of political satirist Stephen Colbert. The seat was left vacant in December when Gov. Nikki Haley picked Rep. Tim Scott to replace Jim DeMint in the Senate.
With 71 percent of the precincts reporting, Sanford has 54 percent of the vote and The Associated Press has called the race for him.
While governor in 2009, Sanford disappeared for five days, telling his staff that he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. He later admitted he'd been in Argentina with his mistress.
The ensuing scandal destroyed his marriage and nearly destroyed his political career. Although he hung on until the end of his term, he paid $74,000 in ethics fines.
Sanford's five-month campaign reclaimed the seat he held for three terms in the 1990s.
The New York Times reports that Colbert Busch had briefly led Sanford in early polling, "buoying hopes among some voters that a Democrat would, for the first time in 30 years, represent the coastal district that includes Charleston."