Sanford heading to Iowa as former SC governor considers Trump presidential challenge

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is heading to yet another early primary state as he decides whether to challenge President Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination.

Sanford will appear in Des Moines, Iowa, Wednesday and Thursday for several meetings, though details of Sanford’s itinerary haven’t been released.

The Iowa trip follows Sanford’s visit to New Hampshire — another early primary state — last week. The two-time congressman also has appeared at high-profile political events in South Carolina.

Sanford first announced he was considering a run against Trump in July. He has said he will put off his final decision until Labor Day weekend.

Sanford’s announcement has not been universally well received. The S.C. Republican Party has strongly criticized the move and discouraged Sanford from running.

In his home state, polls showed Sanford only winning two percent of the vote against Trump. Meanwhile, Trump polled at 95 percent.

Nationally, Trump sits at about a 53.9 percent disapproval rating, according to FiveThirtyEight. About 88 percent of Republicans voiced support for the president in a Gallop Poll conducted earlier this month.

Sanford would join former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh in the Republican primary against Trump. Recently, though, speculation has surfaced about other Republicans joining the race, including former Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake.

During an interview on MSNBC Thursday, Sanford welcomed other challengers.

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Emily Bohatch helps cover South Carolina’s government for The State. She also updates The State’s databases. Her accomplishments include winning a Green Eyeshade award in Disaster Reporting in 2018 for her teamwork reporting on Hurricane Irma. She has a degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish from Ohio University’s E. W. Scripps School of Journalism.