CHARLESTON — Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, on the campaign trail for her one-month congressional race against former Gov. Mark Sanford, stressed the positive Thursday and refused to comment on her opponent’s past indiscretions.
“Things are good, and we are absolutely positioned to move forward” in the 1st District, she told reporters after visiting residents of a nursing home outside of Charleston. “We are going to focus, focus, focus on job creation, and we are going to balance that budget and reduce that deficit.”
It was Colbert Busch’s first campaign appearance since Sanford won the GOP primary runoff on Tuesday, settling who would be her opponent.
Sanford is trying to make a comeback after his political career was sidelined in 2009 after he confessed to an extramarital affair. As a sitting governor, he disappeared from the state for five days only to return and confess to an affair with an Argentine woman, Maria Belen Chapur. He and Jenny Sanford soon divorced, and he is now engaged to Chapur.
Asked about the former governor’s past personal problems, Colbert Busch responded, “What we have in our campaign is the positive approach of what can be and where we can go.”
Should Sanford’s past be a concern of voters?
“We’re going to focus on job creation,” she simply replied.
Colbert Busch, the sister of political satirist Stephen Colbert, faces Sanford in the May 7 primary to fill the seat left vacant when U.S. Rep. Tim Scott was appointed to the U.S. Senate. Scott replaced Jim DeMint who resigned to head a conservative think tank. Green Party candidate Eugene Platt is the third candidate on next month’s ballot.
Colbert Busch said her famous brother would be back in the district during the next month for another fundraiser, although no date has yet been set.
Earlier Tuesday, her Democratic primary opponent, perennial candidate Ben Frasier, endorsed Sanford, saying Colbert Busch, who trounced him in the primary, doesn’t represent the values of the district and is beholden to the Democratic left.
“I think the 96 percent of the vote to the 4 percent (for Frasier) speaks for itself,” Colbert Busch said. As to the comment she represents the Democratic left, she responded, “I am fiscally conservative; that is not unique to any party.”
Colbert Busch, who says she has always wanted to run for public office, worked in the shipping industry for years and is on a leave of absence from her position as the director of business development for Clemson University’s Wind Turbine Drive Testing Facility.
Sanford has been frugal with taxpayer money throughout his public career of three terms in Congress and two in the Governor’s Mansion. He has said the nation is at a tipping point regarding federal spending.
“Do we have to look at the budget? Do we have to reduce? Do we have to balance? Absolutely,” Colbert Busch said. But she added that she is also looking to the future.
“What we have here is an incredible opportunity for job creation and education. It’s absolutely what is going to happen in this district in the coming years,” she said. “The brightest future is ahead of us.”