Former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford has launched his bid for the state's 1st District House seat.

"I am running because our country's future is at stake if we don't get our hands around runaway government spending in Washington," Sanford said in a statement Wednesday. "And, given our nation's long-term financial problems, we need more who have shown themselves to be leaders in standing up to the big spenders, regardless of party."

Sanford revealed his plans Tuesday and argued that the mistakes he made as governor should be balanced against his steadfast economic conservatism.

The House seat was left vacant earlier this month, when Rep. Tim Scott (R) was appointed to fill the Senate seat vacated by former senator Jim DeMint (R). A special election primary will be held March 19 and a general election on May 7.

Sanford’s ex-wife, Jenny Sanford, announced Monday that she would not run for the House seat. Other declared or possible candidates include state Sen. Larry Grooms; state House Majority Whip Jimmy Merrill; and state Rep. Peter McCoy.