The Washington Times - April 30, 2013, 12:05PM

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s political comeback got a boost Tuesday after Republican Sen. Rand Paul endorsed his campaign for Congress.

The Kentucky senator, a tea party hero seen by many as a potential contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, praised Mr. Sanford for his “fiscal responsibility and liberty.”

“Mark has proven during his time in office that watching out for taxpayers and holding the line on spending are his top priorities,” said Mr. Paul in a statement released by the Sanford campaign. 

“What we absolutely cannot afford is someone like his opponent, who will be yet another vote for a return to the Pelosi speakership, for disastrous programs like Obamacare, and for more spending and debt.”

Mr. Sanford, a Republican, thanked the senator for his support, calling him an “incredible advocate for both today’s and tomorrow’s taxpayers.”

The former governor, who left office two years ago after a bizarre high-profile extramarital affair in 2009, is on the May 7 ballot for a special election to fill the House seat vacated by Tim Scott’s December appointment to the Senate. His opponent is Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, sister of TV personality and political satirist Stephen Colbert.

While the coastal South Carolina district typically is a Republican stronghold, polls predict a tight race.