(CNN) - In his second television spot for the South Carolina special congressional election, former Gov. Mark Sanford is shifting focus from his self-acknowledged mistakes to his record as governor.
"Mark Sanford was a good governor," one woman says.
"A good governor," another man adds.
"A conservative governor," a different woman says.
The supporters praise him for eliminating "almost a billion dollars in deficit and debt" and saying no to "the Obama stimulus money."
Sanford finished out his second term in 2011 after his political career was derailed two years earlier by an extramarital affair and divorce. He's now running for the vacant seat to represent the state's 1st Congressional District, an office he once held before becoming governor.
The seat became empty after Gov. Nikki Haley appointed Republican Rep. Tim Scott to the Senate to replace Sen. Jim DeMint at the end of 2012.
DeMint resigned to lead the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington.
In his first television ad, Sanford recognized he had made mistakes but argued his mission was to reverse Washington's spending increases.
"I've experienced how none of us go through life without mistakes. But in their wake we can learn a lot about grace, a God of second chances and be the better for it," he said in the spot, looking directly into the camera.
Sanford has taken heat by his opponents in the crowded GOP primary field, which includes more than a dozen candidates. Seen as the leading contender in the race, he's been criticized for his past and for being a "career politician."
Sanford's campaign hit a setback last week when two conservative U.S. congressmen from the state–Reps. Mick Mulvaney and Jeff Duncan–endorsed state Sen. Larry Grooms, rather than Sanford.
His latest ad signals that he plans to stay on message, however, promoting himself as the candidate most prepared to tackle spending on Capitol Hill.
"Others talk about cutting spending, he actually did it," a supporter says in the new ad.
"He holds up his convictions with courage," another supporter adds.
The new commercial will begin running Wednesday on broadcast television and district-wide cable, the campaign stated. His first commercial will also continue to air.
The state holds the GOP primary on March 19. Since Republicans dominate in the district, the winner of the GOP primary will be considered the favorite in the May 7 general election.