Former GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum said Mark Sanford, like all people, deserves a second chance, but he’s backing Curtis Bostic in the 1st Congressional District race.

“Washington needs some fresh faces, some folks who are from the grass roots,” Santorum said during an appearance Wednesday with Bostic at a North Charleston auto service store.

Bostic faces the former governor in a Tuesday runoff for the seat formerly held by U.S. Sen. Tim Scott.

With just a few days left to campaign, the candidates blazed different trails across different ends of the district Wednesday. At 7 tonight they will face off at Porter-Gaud School.

Sanford, who holds a lead in the polls, in fundraising and in endorsements, spent the day campaigning in Beaufort County, including a stop at an evening forum that Bostic did not attend.

While in Beaufort, Sanford was endorsed by state Rep. Bill Herbkersman, R-Bluffton, and other Beaufort area leaders. Herbkersman noted that he was elected to the House the same year Sanford was elected governor, “and (I) was always impressed with the way he put taxpayers first and stood on principle.”

Hours before Santorum stumped for Bostic, conservative pundit Ann Coulter sent out a tweet supporting Bostic.

Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator whose son attends The Citadel and who might run for president again in 2016, said Bostic was strong on all three areas most valued by conservatives: a strong military, limited government and social and moral issues.

“He’s talked about the values of the Lowcountry,” Santorum said. “This is a ‘Mr. Smith goes to Washington.’ ”

Bostic, who said he was the underdog in the race, said he carefully chose an auto service center to appear with Santorum. “It’s not some fancy place. It’s not some polished place,” he said. “This is where we live. This is America.”

Tuesday’s Republican winner will face Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch and Green Party candidate Eugene Platt on May 7.

The 1st District includes parts of Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton and Dorchester counties.

Follow tonight’s debate

Republican 1st Congressional District hopefuls Curtis Bostic and Mark Sanford will meet at a forum at 7 tonight at Porter-Gaud School, 300 Albemarle Road in West Ashley.

Tickets cost $10 and are still available at

The event will be moderated by David Webb of SiriusXM radio, and portions will be broadcast on Sirius’ Patriot Channel 125 between 9 p.m. and midnight.

The forum won’t be televised but will be streamed live on

The Post and Courier will tweet updates at #sc1 and @skropf47. Follow tonight’s debate