A person close to the process confirms that the five names under “active consideration” are Sanford, Rep. Tim Scott, Rep. Trey Gowdy, former state attorney general Henry McMaster and Catherine Templeton, the director of the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.
The news was first reported by CNN’s Peter Hamby.
Scott is considered the odds-on favorite for the appointment to replace Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), but Sanford’s inclusion should set off a new round of buzz about Haley’s choice.
The first lady notably distanced herself from her then-husband, former governor Mark Sanford (R), after he resigned amidst revelations of an affair with a woman in Argentina. They have since divorced and Mark Sanford is now engaged to his mistress.
Picking a buzzworthy woman could also help Haley beat back any criticism should might face by not picking Scott, who would become the only African-American senator. Sanford is a sympathetic figure in South Carolina who was popular as first lady.