Mark Sanford grew up on his family’s farm near Beaufort, South Carolina. He graduated from high school in Beaufort before attending Furman University in Greenville, where he received a B.A. in business. He later received an M.B.A. from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and went on to work in real estate finance and investment in New York and Charleston, South Carolina. He served six years in the U.S. House of Representatives. For his consistent efforts to lower taxes and limit government growth he was ranked #1 in Congress by Citizens Against Government Waste.
Sanford was elected governor in 2001 and reelected in 2006, becoming only the third two-term governor in modern South Carolina history. A proponent of limited government, Sanford supported reforms such as the issuance of vouchers to give parents greater access to non-public school options for their children.
In 2009, Sanford was faced with the threat of impeachment for alleged ethics violations. The impeachment charges were ultimately dropped in favor of censure.