Republican congressional candidate Mark Sanford today gave his version of the Feb. 3 events that prompted his ex-wife Jenny Sanford to file a trespassing complaint against him in Family Court.
But his version wasn’t enough to prevent the National Republican Congressional Committee from jumping ship.
Sanford said he was watching the Super Bowl with his 14-year-old son at his ex-wife’s Sullivan’s Island home and tried to reach her to say the boy shouldn’t watch the game alone.
It was not a home that the couple had shared during their marriage.
“Given she was out of town I tried to reach her beforehand to tell her of the situation that had arisen, and met her at the back steps under the light of my cell phone when she returned and told her what had happened,” Sanford said in a statement today.
“There is always another side to every story, and while I am particularly curious how records that were sealed to avoid the boys dealing with embarrassment are now somehow exposed less than three weeks before this election, I agree with Jenny that the media is no place to debate what is ultimately a family court matter, and out of respect for Jenny and the boys, I’m not going to have any further comment at this time,” he added.
Meanwhile, National Republicans are pulling the plug on Sanford and won’t spend any more money on his behalf.
“Mark Sanford has proven he knows what it takes to win elections. At this time, the National Republican Congressional Committee will not be engaged in this special election,” Andrea Bozek, an NRCC spokeswoman, said in a statement.
His rival, Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, declined to comment on the incident during a brief campaign stop at noon at Mount Pleasant’s Boulevard Diner.
“What we’re going to do is we’re going to focus on the job creation, the message to the district, the possible opportunities in the district,” she said. “We’re going to stay focused on the message. We’re going to stay focused on the positive, and we’re going to move to May 7.”
Sanford faces a Family Court appearance on May 9, two days after the 1st District special election.
Jenny Sanford confronted her ex-husband as he was leaving her Sullivan’s Island home on Feb. 3. He was not supposed to be at the house, and had been told several times visiting the home without her permission was a violation of their divorce order, according documents on file at the Charleston County Clerk of Court.
The court file also shows the Sanfords have sparred before, over both a missed $5,000 child support payment and an incident at the Sanford family farm in Beaufort County. Documents show Jenny Sanford accused Mark Sanford of violating the part of the agreement specifying “no airplanes will be flown at the children.”
Schuyler Kropf and Natalie Caula contributed to this report. Read more in tomorrow’s Post and Courier.