Ex-SC Gov. Sanford back in political office

Photo from Mark Sanford victory party - Sanford Facebook page

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WACH/AP) -- Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has redeemed a political career sidelined by scandal by winning his old congressional seat.

Sanford defeated Elizabeth Colbert Busch Tuesday in the state's 1st Congressional District. Colbert Busch is the sister of political satirist Stephen Colbert. With 71 percent of precincts reporting, Sanford has 54 percent of the vote.

At one time, Sanford was mentioned as a possible GOP presidential contender.

But his career unraveled when, as governor four years ago, he disappeared for five days, telling his staff he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. He returned to admit he had been in Argentina with his mistress. Sanford later paid a $70,000 ethics fine, the largest in state history.

Sanford has never lost a political race.

UPDATE: With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Sanford received 77,466 votes, Colbert Busch 64,818 votes, and Platt 690 votes.