Gillibrand makes a last-minute push for Colbert Busch

Gillibrand on 'The Daily Show.' ()
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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand sent another round of emails this morning, trying to drum up dollars and support for Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the Democratic candidate in South Carolina who is running in a special election against former governor Mark Sanford.

Gillibrand's email calls Sanford " an ultra-radical, unethical tax-dollar-waster" and alludes to the scandal that tarnished his tenure as governor, when he claimed to be hiking on the Appalachian Trail but was actually in Argentina visiting a mistress.

"Sanford can’t run on his shameful record, so he’s smearing Elizabeth," Gillibrand writes, claiming Sanford is spending $100,000 on negative ads against Colbert Busch.

Gillibrand was one of the headliners for a fundraiser for Colbert Busch in Washington D.C. two weeks ago, which also included the candidate's brother, Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert.

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The race took a wild turn last week, with revelations that Sanford's ex-wife had formally accused him of trespassing. Sanford, in response, claimed he had just stuck around to watch the second half of the Super Bowl with one of his sons.

But the incident was sufficiently embarrassing that the National Republican Campaign Committee pulled its support for Sanford, and recent polls showed Colbert Busch running slightly ahead in the heavily Republican district.

Gillibrand cites a poll that put Colbert Busch up 47 to 45, but a new poll from Public Policy Polling (a left-leaning pollster) puts her lead at 9 points, with a 51-35 advantage among independents.

Gillibrand's email was sent by way of her Off The Sidelines PAC, and encourages small donations "so she can fight the smears and turn out her voters."

It then adds: "Your gift will go directly to Elizabeth’s campaign," which is partly true. In keeping with her usual practice, the link gives the option of splitting any donation between Colbert Busch's campaign and the Off The Sidelines PAC.

The special election is scheduled for May 7.