As the early favorite in the race, Sanford was barely able to overcome his recent legal issues and scandalous past. Sanford, who left the gubernatorial office amid a personal scandal, had lost support from the National Republican Congressional Committee after being accused of trespassing, hurting his campaign in the final weeks. Prior to being governor he actually served in this district but term-limited himself and left in 2001. He was the top vote getter in the Republican primary with 37% of the vote, but needed 50% in order to avoid a runoff. He competed in the runoff on April 2nd, against former Charleston County Councilman Curtis Bostic, and won with 57% of the vote.
Colbert Busch started as the underdog in this conservative district, but became a viable candidate with great name ID, strong connections in the community and the ability to fundraise. And having a famous brother didn’t hurt. However it wasn’t enough to overcome the strong Republican leanings in counties like Berkeley and Dorchester.
With Sanford heading back to Congress, the current breakdown will now be 233 R, 201 D and 1 vacancy in Missouri’s 8th Congressional District.