1st Congressional District candidates Mark Sanford, Elizabeth Colbert Busch continue stumping in the Lowcountry today

First Congressional District candidate Mark Sanford holds $1,000 in one-dollar bills, as he explains that organizations around the country are spending $600,000 to defeat him in his bid for the seat. Buy this photo

Republican and former Gov. Mark Sanford waved $1,000 worth of dollar bills around Marion Square this morning to decry the influence of outside money in the 1st Congressional District race.

His rival, Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch began the day in Beaufort, where Mayor Billy Keyserling endorsed her.

Keyserling said this marked the first time he has taken such a step. “I admire Elizabeth Colbert Busch’s toughness, business savvy and her commitment to Beaufort — especially balancing our budget and standing up for military families.”

She returned to Charleston by lunch and picked up another endorsement, this one from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.

The group’s President and CEO, Max Richtman said he traveled here to announce the backing in person, partly because he and Sanford have clashed over Sanford’s previous efforts to privatize Social Security.

Sanford said the outside money being spent against him, largely from the House Majority PAC and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, amounted to 600 times the sum he clutched in his hands.

“Are we going to let folks here in South Carolina decide this race, folks here in the 1st Congressional District?” he asked. “Or are we going to let folks from outside try to buy this race?”

Colbert Busch already has been backed by Charleston Mayor Joe Riley and now is being backed by Keyserling, whose late mother was Beaufort County’s first female House member.

Colbert Busch will conclude her public events with an afternoon tour of Trident Technical College’s main campus in North Charleston.

Sanford also is set to wrap up his public appearances with three stops in Summerville.

The election is May 7.

Read more in tomorrow’s Post and Courier.

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