Mark Sanford for Charleston and for Results

Charleston has a flood problem. What’s worse is that it’s not just Charleston—coastal flooding is a growing concern for coastal cities all around America. This problem, fueled by rising tides, has found a champion in Representative Mark Sanford. Sanford’s track record of principled conservatism has delivered results for the city of Charleston and the Palmetto State as a whole.

As voters head to the polls on Tuesday, the choice in the Republican primary should be clear: Mark Sanford for Charleston.

Since he returned to Washington, Sanford has made flood mitigation a priority. While flooding is often viewed as a local issue, the floods that have plagued Charleston in recent years are indicative of a larger national issue on the horizon.

In areas such as Newport, RI, Galveston, TX, and Miami, FL, the reality is that floods are becoming more prevalent. Representative Sanford has taken the lead, fighting for conservative solutions that prevent floods— and save taxpayer dollars.

This is not merely an anecdote, but a phenomenon tracked by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In 2016 alone, Charleston flooded more than 50 times. As the Trump administration continues to prepare for the largest infrastructure package in decades, prioritizing flood research should be high on the list of priorities.

While it may be surprising to some, the truth is that conservatives have been calling for action on coastal resiliency for decades. It was President Ronald Reagan who signed the Coastal Barriers Resources Act in 1982—a measure that improved coastal ecosystems and saved taxpayers money by limiting the National Flood Insurance Program in flood prone areas.

This nearly 40 year-old law still serves as an important market signal: while developers can still build in these flood-prone areas, the they assumed the risk of flooding and they can no longer rely on taxpayers to bail them out.

More recently a wide array of conservative groups, including FreedomWorks, ConservAmerica, and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, called for tougher standards for building or rebuilding homes and other structures in areas at risk of flooding. While conservatives are often billed as being opposed to all regulation, the reality is that smart standards makes sense—especially when it saves tax dollars and leads to better environmental outcomes.

With greater investment in these key areas, our coastal communities can avoid the troubling fate that inaction would lead to. According to projections from the NOAA, Charleston is expected to flood more than 180 per year by 2045. While I’m not one to believe in alarmism, the writing for coastal cities on the eastern seaboard is quite clear.

This need for action was the inspiration behind a recent petition drive on the College of Charleston campus this spring. In two days on campus, volunteers with the American Conservation Coalition (ACC) collected more than 1,000 signatures calling for greater investments into flood mitigation research. Students and clamoring for action, and Representative Sanford is set to deliver.

Progress is on the horizon and results are in within reach. Given Representative Sanford’s commitment to this critical issue, voters in Tuesday’s primary should look to his track record of success—and stick with Sanford.

Matthew Mailloux