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Sanford's tale about the trail in ad on campaign trail

Sanford's tale about the trail in ad on campaign trail
(CNN)
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Friday, April 26, 2013 - 8:20am

Former Gov. Mark Sanford is getting hit with another TV ad in the South Carolina special congressional election, less than two weeks before voters head to the polls.

The latest spot again goes after the Republican's infamous secret trip in 2009. While his staff told reporters at the time he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail, it was discovered that the then-governor actually went to Argentina to see his mistress.

"Mark Sanford abandoned his post," says the narrator, an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan.

"No one, not even the National Guard could reach him," he continued. "What are we supposed to do when we can't get in touch with him--the leader? You can't just walk away. If I had abandoned my post, I could be court marshaled."

House Majority PAC, a third-party group attempting to retake the House for Democrats, paired up with VoteVets to renew the spot, which the left-leaning veterans group ran earlier this week. The commercial is part of six-figure ad buy announced by House Majority PAC last week.

Since launching his congressional campaign, Sanford has sought forgiveness and redemption for what he openly calls a mistake.

National Democratic groups started investing more resources in the 1st Congressional District race as Sanford began facing controversial headlines over trespassing accusations by his ex-wife, and as the Democratic candidate, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, sister of satirist Stephen Colbert, began gaining ground in the longtime Republican district.

On Thursday, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report changed its rating of the race to "lean Democratic" from "Toss-up." Before the trespassing allegation, the district was rated "lean Republican."

Democratic groups have focused on Sanford's affair and disappearance from his state four years ago. He and his ex-wife, Jenny, divorced in 2010 and Sanford finished out his term in 2011. He's now engaged to the Argentinean woman.

Sanford, for his part, has focused on Colbert Busch's decision to accept only one debate invitation and continues to paint her recent support from national groups as a sign that his opponent has strong ties to Washington, despite her attempts to campaign as an outsider.

Earlier this week, his campaign released an ad attacking Colbert Busch for accepting contributions for labor unions, even though she applauded Boeing's efforts to bring a new plant to South Carolina, a move strongly opposed by certain big labor groups.

The election is May 7.

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