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Former Gov. Sanford Could Face Ex-Wife For Open House Seat

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Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford attends ceremonies rolling out the Boeing 787 Dreamliner (not seen) built for Air India on April 27, 2012,at Boeing's new production facility in North Charlston, S.C. (credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford attends ceremonies rolling out the Boeing 787 Dreamliner (not seen) built for Air India on April 27, 2012,at Boeing’s new production facility in North Charlston, S.C. (credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (CBS Charlotte/AP) — This might get awkward.

There could potentially be a Sanford-family showdown that pits former Gov. Mark Sanford against his ex-wife for newly appointed Sen. Tim Scott’s congressional seat.

According to Roll Call, the former governor who cheated on his wife Jenny Sanford with a woman from Argentina is “studying” a potential run for the vacant seat that he previously once held. Sanford is now engaged to Maria Belen Chapur.

But Jenny Sanford – who was on Gov. Nikki Haley’s short list to replace Sen. Jim DeMint – is also considering a run herself for the 1st District seat.

On Tuesday, she said, “I think there’s a different between the seats. The Senate is a more prestigious institution and a more deliberative institution than the House.”

But she added, “I’d be crazy not to look at the race a little bit.” She said she wanted to talk with her four boys and will make a decision on a possible congressional run after the holidays.

Charleston County GOP Chairman Lin Bennett said that Scott said he will submit his letter of resignation from the House on Jan. 2, triggering a process of candidate filing and primaries leading up to a special election in May.

Outside the Sanfords, several prominent people have already contacted her about running in the district, reaching from the heavily populated Charleston area southwest along the coast.

Bennett said she has heard from Carroll Campbell III, who ran for the GOP nomination for the seat two years ago and is the son of the late popular Gov. Carroll Campbell, as well as Ted Turner Jr., son of media magnate Ted Turner. Another name that has been floated is Paul Thurmond, elected this year to the state Senate and the son of the late longtime U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond.

“You don’t have to give up your seat to run, so I think you’re going to see a lot of local elected officials running for that seat,” Bennett said.

Bennett said she also has been contacted by state Reps. Chip Limehouse of Charleston and Peter McCoy of James Island as well as state Sen. Larry Grooms of Bonneau. Former Charleston County School Board member Larry Kobrovsky and Charleston County Councilman Elliott Summey also have said they will consider the race.

Sullivan’s Island businessman Keith Blandford announced Tuesday that he also is getting into the race.

Charleston County Democratic Chairman Richard Hricik had said earlier that he wasn’t sure who might be a candidate until Haley made her Senate appointment. The Associated Press left a message with him Tuesday.

The district trends Republican, and Scott defeated Democratic challenger Bobbie Rose by a margin of nearly 2-1 in last month’s general election.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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