Former Democratic candidate endorses Mark Sanford in congressional race

abeam@thestate.comApril 4, 2013 

— Former Democratic candidate Ben Frasier has endorsed Republican Mark Sanford in the race for South Carolina’s 1st congressional seat.

“I am a Democrat, but a conservative one, and I am supporting Mark because I don't think Elizabeth represents the conservative values of this district," Frasier said in a news release issued by the Sanford campaign, referring to Elizabeth Colbert Busch, who easily defeated Frasier to win the Democratic nomination. "I know Mark to be a man of integrity who will represent the District well. I am crossing party lines to make this endorsement because with all due respect to Elizabeth she is just too beholden to the political left to represent the Lowcountry effectively."

But democrats were quick to call Frasier a “Republican plant,” arguing that while he was the Democratic nominee against Tim Scott for this seat three years ago he did not campaign against the Republican, who is now a U.S. Senator.

“Ben Frasier has been working for the Republican Party for 20 years. This is not a surprise whatsoever,” said Tyler Jones, a Charleston-based Democratic political consultant. “He only garnered 4 percent of the vote in the primary and he lives in Maryland. If Mark Sanford wants to win this race, he’s going to have to do better than an endorsement from an out-of-state Republican plant.”

Sanford won the Republican nomination on Tuesday when he defeated former Charleston County Councilman Curtis Bostic in a runoff.

Reach Beam at (803) 386-7038.

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