Sanford drew fire in 2009 when he disappeared for nearly a week in June with his whereabouts unknown by his wife and his security detail. He told his staff he would be hiking on the Appalachian Trail. He was later spotted by a reporter at the Atlanta airport returning from Argentina; Sanford subsequently admitted having conducted an affair.

Sanford is in the midst of a congressional campaign for South Carolina's 1st District, vying for the seat vacated by Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottPartisan tensions rise as Mueller bill delayed GOP dismisses report that tax law will add .9 trillion to debt Gowdy on video questions how long Pruitt is ‘going to make it’ MORE (R-S.C.) upon his appointment to the Senate.

In an interview earlier this year with The Hill, Sanford said that he "lived in a soap opera world," but hoped voters would forgive him.

“The reality of humanity is if you live long enough you’ll fail at something. And I failed, period. There’s no getting around it,” he said. “What I learned in the wake of that is that there’s this amazing reservoir of grace. A lot of people have told me they’re not going to judge me on my worst day any more than on my best day. I hope they’d look at the whole of what I’ve been doing in this community for 52 years and public office for 20 years.”

--Cameron Joseph contributed.