Federal campaign disclosure records available today indicate Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch has raised more than $1.1 million in the 1st Congressional District race versus Republican Mark Sanford.
Still, Sanford has more cash on hand.
The Federal Election Commission records show Colbert Busch has collected about $1 million in individual contributions, with the rest coming from parties and committees.
She has about $254,459 cash-on-hand heading toward the May 7 election.
The latest reporting covers to April 17 and had to be filed with the FEC by 11:59 p.m. Thursday. Both candidates were in on time, a spokesperson said.
Sanford’s disclosure shows he has more cash on hand than she does — $284,245 — but has raised less money, $787,740.
Asked about his fundraising today, Sanford said he has been pleased with his fundraising results since April 16, when news of his ex-wife’s trespassing allegation broke.
“We’ve got more cash on hand than the Democrats,” he said. “But I know we’re going to be outspent by the end.”
Earlier, Colbert Busch held an event with former Charleston County Sheriff candidate Mark Whisenant to talk about her support of firefighters and other first responders, and she criticized Sanford for going “awol” as governor in 2009.
“Mark Sanford had many opportunities in Congress, many opportunities as a governor to support our first responders, and he did not,” she said, adding police, firefighters and other first responders were the heroes during 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombing.
“They did not go awol. They did not leave their post. They did not have a dereliction of duty,” she said.
Her criticism is being backed up by the S.C. Democratic Party, which has launched a Facebook ad campaign to criticize Sanford for being awol.
As he met reporters outside the St. Philip’s Tea Room today, Sanford said “there’s a lot of urban legend” surrounding his 2009 trip to Argentina. His staff had told reporters he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, but he was really going to meet his mistress.
“I was reached by phone. I changed my flight. I came home,” he said, adding it would not happen again.
“I think it goes without saying that after you’ve gone through what was arguably the most painful chapter of my life and the most painful chapter for a lot of different folks that it’s not going to be one that’s repeated,” he said.
At 1:15 p.m. Friday, Sanford stopped by Hughes Lumber Building Supply in downtown Charleston.
Wandering through the lumber bins and parking lot, he greeted employees and customers. Shadowing him throughout these exchanges was a young man in sunglasses and carrying a small video camera. On occasion, he interrupted Sanford’s conversations with questions about fundraising and other issues.
The man identified himself to The Post and Courier as Trey and said he worked for the South Carolina Democratic Party.
He also has appeared at previous Sanford appearances, and his presence clearly irked Sanford, who described it as an “example of New Jersey-style politics” designed to get in a candidate’s head.
“It has no place in the Lowcountry,” he said, then grabbed his cell phone to show how many people from out of state have been calling him since a Democratic super PAC began circulating his number in emails to supporters.
Check back with postandcourier.com for further updates.