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Mark Sanford: Will South Carolina residents vote for him again?

Former Gov. Mark Sanford says he will run for his old congressional seat in South Carolina. A conservative, Sanford had a secret affair with an Argentine woman in 2009.

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In this Aug. 28, 2012 file photo, former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. Nearly four years after his affair with an Argentine woman was exposed, Sanford plans to announce his return to politics and run for his old congressional seat on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013.

(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

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Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, whose political career was derailed four years ago because of his affair with an Argentine woman, is attempting an improbable comeback.

Once mentioned as a potential 2012 GOP presidential contender, the 52-year-old Republican announced Wednesday he will run for his old congressional seat in his home district along the South Carolina coast. Sanford, a penny-pinching conservative long before the tea party movement, said he is done apologizing for the affair and wants to restore "fiscal sanity" to Washington. He believes voters are ready to give him another shot in office.

"I think what they are most focused on is not the fact I have made a mistake and apologized and have tried to do right in my life since. What they are focused on is their pocketbook and their wallet," Sanford told The Associated Press.

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But some have said the affair will be difficult for Sanford to shake. After all, he disappeared from the state for five days in 2009, telling his aides, who told the media, that he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail.

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