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Larry Flynt Endorses Mark Sanford for Congress: 'He's The Sex Pioneer of Our Time'

Larry Flynt Headshot - P 2011
Scott Gries/Getty Images

Flynt says he supports Sanford -- who is running against Stephen Colbert's sister -- because "no one has done more to expose the sexual hypocrisy of traditional values in America today."

Hustler publisher Larry Flynt endorsed conservative Republican Mark Sanford’s bid for South Carolina congressional seat Tuesday, hailing the state’s disgraced former governor as “the sex pioneer of our time."

Sanford, who is locked in a tight race with Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch—sister of Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert—occupied the 1st District House seat for six years before serving two terms as South Carolina’s chief executive widely touted by conservatives as a possible presidential candidate. All that came to an end when he told his staff he was leaving the governor’s mansion for a hiking trip on the Appalachian Trail, then failed to answer more than 15 phone calls. The married Sanford later admitted that he’d been in Argentina to meet the mistress—now his fiancé—with whom he’d been conducting an affair. His politically active and locally popular wife, Jenny, subsequently divorced him and wrote a scathing memoir of their marriage.

STORY: Larry Flynt's Wild Life: Porn, Politics and Penile Implants

Flynt said Tuesday that he also was donating the maximum legal contribution--$2,600—to Sanford’s campaign. He said "no one has done more to expose the sexual hypocrisy of traditional values in America today. He is the man of the hour—the midnight hour. He has demonstrated by his words and deeds that traditional values are shameful and that he will not live by such rules. As the bible teaches us: 'Ye shall know them by their fruits.'"

Flynt added: "Sanford’s open embrace of his mistress in the name of love, breaking his sacred marriage vows, was an act of bravery that has drawn my support. His attack on sexual hypocrisy is the only issue in this campaign. It is what defines Mark Sanford. Placing sex at the top of the agenda, he continues his courageous fight, demanding forgiveness while brazenly hugging his mistress at campaign parties."

The publisher said the decision to back the conservative, who is not being supported by the national Republican Party’s congressional fundraising arm, “has not been an easy decision for me. Even though Mark Sanford has emerged as the leader against sexual hypocrisy in American politics, he is a liar. He lied to his gubernatorial staff. He lied to his wife. He lied to his children. He lied to the people of South Carolina and to the press. Despite his journey down this Appalachian Trail of deceit, I support him not for his character, but for exposing the hypocrisy of traditional values. The liar has exposed the greater lie."

VIDEO: Stephen Colbert Will Break Character to Assist His Sister's Congressional Run

Flynt also commended Sanford's supporters. "They have the courage to toss aside lifelong convictions to embrace the sex pioneer of our time," he said. "They have rejected the religious teachings of their Bible-thumping preachers and tossed the false sanctity of marriage into the trashcan. Sanford’s fellow pioneers are teaching their children the invaluable lesson that traditional values are nothing more than a scam."

Flynt’s endorsement follows those of the GOP’s two most prominent libertarians, former Rep. and presidential candidate Ron Paul and his son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

The special election to fill the vacant 1st District seat is set for May 7.