So this is an interesting development for Election 2020.
As he's been publicly mulling for a few weeks, former SC governor Mark Sanford announced today that he is officially throwing his hat in the ring for the 2020 Republican nomination for president.
When asked why he was running, he said because "I think we need to have a conversation on what it means to be a Republican," adding that he thinks the Republican Party has lost its way on "a couple different fronts."
Sanford is an imperfect vehicle by which to have that conversation, however. Sanford rose to national prominence when he literally disappeared from his governor's office for days, without notifying staff or family of his whereabouts. When he returned, he claimed to have been "hiking the Appalachian trail" (thus launching an internet meme that has long outlasted his tenure), but admitted later that he had been in South America with his lover, ending his 20 year marriage in the most public of ways. And while this kind of adultery and abdication of office would kill the career of any Democrat, Sanford refused to resign his position (an episode of Netflix's "The Family" covers this) and later ran and won the congressional race for South Carolina's First District.
However, after challenging the Trumpian version of the GOP established in 2016, Sanford lost his 2018 re-election. He has been making murmurings ever since that this is not how the Republican Party should be, ignoring the decades of corruption, talking points, bigotry and hypocrisy that prove that this is EXACTLY how the Republican Party has always been.
And as a final cherry on top of this pile of cognitive dissonance, Sanford's home state of South Carolina is one of the states that the Republican National Party is encouraging to cancel their primary to protect Donald Trump's incumbency.
All three announced candidates, Sanford, Bill Weld and Joe Walsh, are unlikely to launch a significant challenge against Trump, though the higher profile any and all of them will probably result in Trump tantrums, which may turn off potential voters.