- - Tuesday, January 15, 2013

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Nearly four years after his affair with an Argentine woman was exposed, former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford plans to announce his return to politics and run for his old congressional seat.

His spokesman, Joel Sawyer, confirmed that the 52-year-old Mr. Sanford would announce his bid on Wednesday. The ex-Republican governor said last month that reports he was planning a political comeback were accurate, and he was in Charleston last week looking for office space for his campaign.

Mr. Sanford’s old 1st District seat is vacant. Its former occupant, Rep. Tim Scott, was appointed to the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the resignation of Sen. Jim DeMint.

The two-term governor was seen as a possible contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination before he vanished from South Carolina for five days in 2009 to visit his mistress in Argentina. Reporters and others were told he was hiking the Appalachian Trail.

When he returned to the state, Mr. Sanford confessed the affair in a tearful Statehouse news conference. He later called Maria Belen Chapur his “soul mate,” and the couple got engaged last summer.

The international affair ended any hopes Mr. Sanford had of running for president and destroyed his marriage, which ended in divorce from his wife, Jenny.

WHITE HOUSE

Clinton daughter chosen to aid inaugural event

Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton has signed on to help promote President Obama’s inaugural kick-off event to get Americans across the country engaged in serving their communities.

Inaugural planners announced Tuesday that Ms. Clinton will be honorary chairwoman of the National Day of Service, the president’s call for Americans to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King on the holiday weekend celebrating his birthday. They said Ms. Clinton would headline a service summit on the Mall on Saturday, with other participants, including actresses Eva Longoria and Angela Basset, singers Ben Folds and Yolanda Adams, television personality Star Jones and Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, the vice president’s son.

It’s a new inaugural role for the 32-year-old Ms. Clinton, who participated in the festivities as an adolescent, standing next to her father, Bill Clinton, as he was sworn into office in 1993 and 1997.

Ms. Clinton was often seen but not heard as a youth growing up in the White House, but increasingly has made her public voice heard in recent years. She campaigned for her mother, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, in the 2008 presidential primary campaign against Mr. Obama and now is an NBC News special correspondent. Last fall, she traveled to Nigeria on behalf of her father’s charitable foundation, meeting with the country’s president and promoting the Clinton Health Access Initiative’s efforts to reduce child mortality there.

HOUSE

Democrats again hit DOMA defense backed by Boehner

House Democratic leaders say Speaker John A. Boehner is hypocritically ramping up a taxpayer-funded defense of the Defense of Marriage Act in federal courts while simultaneously calling for government spending cuts.

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