Mark Sanford, one of the three Republicans challenging Donald Trump for their party’s 2020 presidential nomination, will hold a meet-and-greet at the Coralville Farmers Market on Monday at 5:30 p.m.
Sanford, a former Trump supporter who concedes he stands almost no chance of defeating the president, is best known for disappearing for almost a week in 2009, while he was governor of South Carolina. Even his staff didn’t know where he was, but tried to cover for the governor, telling the public, the press and state officials Sanford was unavailable because he was “hiking the Appalachian Trail.” In fact, the then-married governor secretly flown to Buenos Aires to spend time with his girlfriend.
When Sanford announced his candidacy earlier this month, he said he was running to restore traditional Republican Party values.
Only one of the other two Republican candidates challenging has visited Iowa this year. Former Massachusetts governor William Weld, who announced his 2020 bid in February, spoke at the Iowa State Fair last month. It is Weld’s sole Iowa event so far.
Joe Walsh, a former one-term congressman and current rightwing radio talk show host, hasn’t visited the state since declaring his candidacy last month. Like Sanford, Walsh supported Trump in 2016, but has grown disenchanted with Trump’s behavior as president, complaining that Trump is “nuts, he’s erratic, he’s cruel, he stokes bigotry.” Ironically, since announcing his run, Walsh has had to concede that he has his own long history of racist statements.
Sanford’s Coralville appearance is one of nine stops he is making in Iowa this week. Most are in the Des Moines area and most are at restaurants. His final stop on the tour will be a meet-and-greet at an Arby’s in Des Moines.