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Former SC Gov. Mark Sanford joining lobbying firm

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Former Gov. Mark Sanford leaves the New Hampshire Statehouse after holding a press conference announcing he was getting out of the 2020 Republican presidential race on Nov. 12, 2019. File/Lauren Petracca/Staff

Mark Sanford, the former South Carolina governor, congressman and short-term presidential candidate who tried to challenge Donald Trump last year, is joining a lobbying firm.

Shumaker Advisors announced Tuesday on its website that Sanford, who lives in Mount Pleasant, will contribute based on his expertise in policymaking at the state and federal levels.

“As the federal government continues to grow, we see increased needs every day from our clients that need assistance navigating legislative procedure and regulations," Shumaker's Charlotte and Greenville managing partner, Steve Meckler, said in a news release.

"Gov. Sanford adds another critical component in our ability to advise well on government and legislative issues," Meckler added.

Sanford could not be immediately reached for comment but said in the Shumaker announcement he is looking forward to a new chapter. 

"I've always tried not only to make government smaller, but to well understand its details, and in this light I look forward to joining the team of outstanding professionals at Shumaker,” Sanford said.

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Shumaker Advisors bills itself as a "public affairs and government relations firm specializing in advocacy, business development, coalition building, and communication strategies while serving at the federal, state and local levels of government."

Sanford will work out of Shumaker’s Charleston office. It was not immediately clear what his full-time role will be or if he will register as a lobbyist, but his title is listed as executive vice president and principal. In Congress he served on the transportation, budget, government reform, international relations and science committees.

Sanford served eight years as South Carolina governor from 2003 to 2011 in a role where his service was overshadowed by an affair with his Argentine mistress. He served two stints representing Charleston and the Lowcountry in Congress, including in the 1990s and beginning again in 2013. He was defeated in the 2018 GOP primary after speaking out against Trump's conduct as president.

He later launched a weekslong bid to take on Trump for the 2020 GOP presidential nomination but gave up in New Hampshire after failing to gain any following.

Last year he started a nonprofit aimed at combating runaway spending in Washington, D.C., saying that without serious attention, the country is on a path to economic collapse. The project was called Americans for Debt and Deficit Reduction.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 843-937-5551. Follow him on Twitter at @skropf47.

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