Former Gov. Mark Sanford won the GOP runoff tonight for the 1st Congressional District by a 57-43 margin over former Charleston County Councilman Curtis Bostic, according to unofficial results.


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Sanford now faces five more weeks campaigning before a May 7 showdown with Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, whose business background and moderate politics are expected to make for an unusually competitive contest.

As he waited for Sanford to speak former Berkeley GOP Chair Tim Callanan said, “The toughest race out of all these is coming up.”

After Sanford thanked supporters, family and his fiancee Maria Belen Chapur — who made a surprise appearance Tuesday night — he began sounding out themes that separate him from Colbert Busch.

Those include: whether health care should be predominantly government’s role or based on free market principles; whether the National Labor Relations Board should decide if Boeing can build jobs in South Carolina; and whether Washington, D.C. will get its financial house in order.

“If you go into a general elections, I think there are some real contrasts that don’t exist in a primary,” he said.

Colbert Busch released her own statement Tuesday, saying Sanford “simply has the wrong values for our community.”