Congressman Mark Sanford is facing one fewer Republican primary opponent next year after a would-be challenger dropped out Wednesday due to being called up for active duty military service.
According to the Charleston Post and Courier, Tom Perez said he was suspending his campaign to take on Sanford in the 1st Congressional District due to a military obligation overseas. Perez is an officer in the Naval Reserve who lives in the Charleston area.
In announcing his campaign suspension, Perez said he will be away on active military duty on dates that would overlap with parts of the campaign. Perez said he would not be coming back from his deployment until after the primary election in June 2018.
As of now, Sanford is heading into the 2018 election cycle expecting a primary challenge next June from Ted Fienning.
Sanford is in his second go-round representing South Carolina’s First Congressional District after winning a special election in 2013. He previously held the seat from 1995 to 2001.