Mark Sanford refers to recognizing “a God of second chances” in his opening TV ad for his 1st Congressional District run that also highlights his stances on cutting spending and reducing the debt.

“Washington's math doesn't add up, and so for years while many have talked, I've fought to do something about it — I've cut spending, reduced debt and made government more accountable,” he says.

He then continues, “More recently I've experienced how none of us go through life without mistakes. But in their wake we can learn a lot about grace, a God of second chances and be the better for it.”

The comment is a reference to leaving the state while governor to visit his mistress, now fiancee, in Argentina, and the political fallout afterward.

“In that light I humbly step forward and ask for your help in changing Washington,” he also says.

Sanford, the former 1st District congressman, joins several others already on TV in the 16-way GOP race for the open seat.

The Sanford ad is on now on districtwide cable TV and will expand to broadcast television next week. He is scheduled to appear on the “Today Show” this morning during the 7 a.m. hour, as he seeks to increase his solo media profile.