Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, best known for his extramarital affair with a woman from Argentina, won a rough-and-tumble US House race Tuesday night. But he’ll get no congratulatory note from fellow Republican Gabriel E. Gomez, the GOP nominee for Senate in Massachusetts.
In a statement late Tuesday night Gomez said he didn’t pay much attention to the race, but zinged Sanford anyway.
“Mark Sanford seems pathetic to me,” Gomez said. “This guy is another career politician who needs to go get a real job in the real world.”
There are obvious advantages to Gomez — running as a moderate in a state that usually elects Democrats — distancing him from a conservative Republican from the Deep South. But the hit could make for an awkward meeting in the halls of Congress should Gomez win a victory on June 25 over Democrat Edward J. Markey.
Sanford, a two-term governor, became something of a punch-line after he disappeared for days in 2009 to visit a mistress in Argentina, a woman to whom he is now engaged. He had told staff he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail.
Despite the scandal, Sanford finished his second term as the state’s chief executive, which ended in early 2011.
Two years later, he made a bid for redemption, running in a special election in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional district. On Tuesday, he comfortably beat Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert.
Two Sanford aides did not immediately respond to an email from the Globe requesting comment.