Former Congressman Mark Sanford has gone missing just one day before the election which would catapult him back into Congress.
According to a spokesperson, Sanford told aides he would be spending the weekend "diving the Charleston Harbor," but hasn't actually been seen since late Friday afternoon.
It is unclear if Sanford is currently at sea, but a campaign rally in Greenville scheduled for this afternoon has been canceled.
The disappearance comes at the worst possible time for his campaign, which is running neck and neck with Democratic rival Elizabeth Colbert-Busch in a deeply conservative district Sanford once represented.
The special election, called to replace Tim Scott following his appointment to the Senate, takes place tomorrow and now some are seriously concerned Sanford may not show up and vote for himself.
Don't Cry For Me Carolina
The last person to see Sanford was Dennis Murphy, communications director for his campaign.
"On the way out the door on Friday he told me he was gonna go dive the harbor," Murphy explains, "he said wanted to plunge deep into its innermost reaches and thrust himself into hidden passageways where no one has ever been.
"I thought that was a weird way to spend a weekend, but it makes sense to unwind before a big election."
The strange, prolix, sensual way Sanford described his hobby has led some seasoned political watchers in the Palmetto State to speculate that "Diving the Charleston Harbor" could be code for something else.
This theory is shared by Sanford's ex-wife, who claims the story is just a euphemism for a marathon sexual tryst with his girlfriend.
"He's not diving the Charleston Harbor," Jenny Sanford exclusively tells The Daily Currant. "He's been going down on his mistress in a hotel room for the past two days.
"How do I know? Because he texts me every few hours to let me know how much fun he's having. He's an asshole, and he has serious boundary issues."
Sanford's disappearance this week calls to mind a similar incident in 2009, when he disappeared for six days while governor of South Carolina.
Although aides initially told reporters he was "hiking the Appalachian Trail," Sanford eventually revealed that he had been visiting his mistress in Argentina.
After serving out his term as governor, Sanford is now trying to climb back up the political ladder by reclaiming his former House seat. His task has been made more difficult, however, by continuing acrimony with his ex-wife and a court date on Wednesday on charges of trespassing on her property.
An elite Coast Guard search-and-rescue team had been assembled to look for the former governor, but is now expected to stand down in light of his ex-wife's new allegations. It is still unknown which hotel is hosting Sanford, or if he intends to come out of hiding before the election.