Charleston, South Carolina (CNN) – Making his way out of a polling station here Tuesday, former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford said just being able to cast a vote for himself again amounted to a "real blessing on a variety of levels."
Sanford, along with more than a dozen other Republicans, is vying for a spot on the ballot in the Palmetto State's special election to fill the U.S. House seat vacated by now-Sen. Tim Scott. A primary vote is being held Tuesday.
Sanford became a household name in 2009 after he used a story about a hiking trip on the Appalachian Trail to explain his prolonged absence from public life. He later revealed that explanation was false, and that he was actually carrying on an extramarital affair in Argentina. Now divorced, Sanford is engaged to the woman he met in South America.
His bid to become the Republican candidate in the race for the open House seat makes his first venture back into public life since the affair. On Tuesday, he said he wasn't sure how the primary election would turn out, but that "casting the vote wasn't that hard, it was like riding a bike."
"Just the process of getting back up and trying as hard as you can to talk about ideas you've long believed and have the chance to go in and vote is a real blessing on a variety of different levels," Sanford continued.
He added that he believes "life is a series of course corrections. Some days you get right and you surprise yourself on how right you get them. Other days you disappoint yourself and a lot of others."
Other candidates on the ballot Tuesday include fellow Republican Teddy Turner, the son of CNN founder Ted Turner, and Elizabeth Colbert Busch, a Democrat who's the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert.