The Republican congressional candidate wasn’t exactly warmly received that evening, though, say some attendees.
One, a retired Navy lieutenant who asked not to be identified by name, said she watched Sanford walk along W Richardson Ave. for the monthly event sponsored by Summerville D.R.E.A.M.
He had no campaign staff or volunteers with him, and Sanford remained alone in the crowd, too, she said.
“When folks recognized him, they would cross the street,” according to the veteran. Some turned their backs to walk away, she said. “Nobody approached him.”
Another witness, a 46-year-old man who attended the last “Third Thursday,” also said most patrons were avoiding Sanford. “He looked like the number nine on my microwave oven – rarely touched.”
Sanford did succeed in at least one handshake, the Navy veteran witnessed, but only after what she describes as inducement.
“He approached (a restaurant manager) who was standing in front of the restaurant, held out his hand, and said ‘Hi, I’m Mark Sanford.’
“(The manager) wouldn’t take his hand. He just looked him in the eye and said ‘I know who you are.’
“’Aren’t you going to shake my hand?’ (Sanford) asked.”
The restaurant manager did, but slowly and with a grim look on his face, the Navy vet says.
The retired lieutenant says she later saw Sanford putting up his own campaign signs in Hutchinson Square near the corner of W Richardson and N Main St.
Not a Sanford supporter herself, the incident did move her to grant him sympathy.
“It was sad.”