The Washington Post

Mark Sanford is getting a lot of phone calls (and publishing the numbers)

Last weekend, House candidate Mark Sanford published his personal cellphone number in a newspaper ad. The Democratic House Majority PAC put that number in a fundraising e-mail. So Sanford's campaign is highlighting the number of out-of-state calls he's gotten, phone numbers included.

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford addresses supporters in Charleston, S.C., on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (Bruce Smith/AP)

In an e-mail to supporters Thursday, Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer said the Democratic campaign "appears to be working based on the number of calls Sanford has received" and linked to a screenshot of numbers that have called the former governor's iPhone recently. One individual in Houston appears to have called Sanford several times, once successfully.

Answering all the calls has eaten up a lot of time, Sanford told Patch. But he added that not every conversation was bad; some of the Democrats were interested in talking about the issues.

The candidate's cellphone number originally ran in the Charleston Post and Courier as well as in two ads in the Island Packet. In those ads, Sanford defended himself against a House Majority PAC ad focused on a state ethics investigation into his travel spending.

"Sanford publicized his own cellphone number, inviting people to call him with questions about the House Majority PAC's ad," Andy Stone, a spokesman for the super PAC, said. "All we did was pass along his invitation."

Sawyer's e-mail described the calls as coming from "liberal Pelosi supporters nationwide." As a super PAC, House Majority PAC cannot coordinate with candidates or official campaign committees. Pelosi supports the group, which aims to help Democrats win back the House, but has no role in running it.

Sanford has repeatedly tied his Democratic opponent in the May 7 special election, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, to Pelosi. On Wednesday he debated a cardboard cutout of the House minority leader.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.



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