Mark Sanford represents the First District of South Carolina, which covers the Lowcountry of the state, and was sworn-in as a member of the 113th Congress after winning a special election in May of 2013.
He first learned the themes of hard work and frugality growing up with two brothers and a sister on their family farm near Beaufort, SC. He has brought these lessons to Columbia, SC as governor and Washington, DC as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, where his record as a fiscal reformer and budget cutter is incontestable.
As the 115th Governor of South Carolina, serving from 2003 until 2011, he accomplished a long list of firsts, such as cutting the marginal income tax rate, the largest recurring tax cut in state history, first of its kind tort reform, workers' compensation reform, and bringing about the first statewide charter school district in the nation. All these actions were aimed at making the state a more inviting place in which to invest and build a business, and cumulatively led to $24 billion in capital investment – more in his governorship than during any other administration in South Carolina's history.
His administration instituted additional changes that bettered the lives of people in South Carolina, whether that meant instituting business practices that moved DMV wait times from 66 minutes to 15 minutes, the first structural changes to the Department of Transportation since its inception, or in more land being preserved than during any other governorship.
He has always focused on stopping wasteful spending. He proposed the first operational executive budget in South Carolina's history and over his time in office closed nearly a billion dollar funding hole that he inherited upon arriving in Columbia. Mark was the first governor in the nation to refuse federal stimulus funding, and fought against the stimulus all the way to the South Carolina Supreme Court. By the end of his second term, the CATO Institute had ranked Mark as the most fiscally conservative governor in the country.
Prior to serving as governor, Mark represented South Carolina’s First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, DC from 1995 until 2001, where he was ranked by Citizens Against Government Waste and the National Taxpayers Union as the most financially conservative member in all of Congress for his efforts to rein in wasteful spending and reduce the national debt.
Mark attended Furman University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Business. He later received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. Mark has four sons, Marshall, Landon, Bolton, and Blake. He currently lives in Mount Pleasant.