Former congressman Mark Sanford considering challenge to Trump: newspaper

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Mark Sanford, a Republican former U.S. congressman from South Carolina, said on Tuesday he is considering mounting a primary challenge to President Donald Trump.

Sanford, 59, a longtime Trump critic who lost his seat in the House of Representatives last year after he was challenged by a Trump supporter in the Republican primary, will decide in the next month whether to make a long-shot bid against Trump for the 2020 presidential nomination, he told the Post and Courier newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina.

He said he would run against Trump because of concerns about the federal debt and government spending.

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First lady Melania Trump speaks to supporters at a rally where President Donald Trump formally announced his 2020 re-election bid Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive on stage to formally kick off his re-election bid with a campaign rally in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
US President Donald Trump greets First Lady Melania Trump as he takes the stage for the official launch of the Trump 2020 campaign at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on June 18, 2019. - Trump kicks off his reelection campaign at what promised to be a rollicking evening rally in Orlando. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, USA - JUNE 18: US first lady Melania Trump greets supporters during a rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on June 18, 2019. President Donald Trump officially launches his 2020 campaign. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui T./Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
First lady Melania Trump and President Donald Trump greet supporters at a rally to formally announce his 2020 re-election bid Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
ORLANDO, USA - JUNE 18: US first lady Melania Trump (C) beside US President Donald Trump (R) speaks during a rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on June 18, 2019. President Donald Trump officially launches his 2020 campaign. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui T./Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive at his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
ORLANDO, USA - JUNE 18: US President Donald Trump (2nd L), first lady Melania Trump (L), US Vice President Mike Pence (2nd R) and his wife Karen Pence (R) greet supporters during a rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on June 18, 2019. President Donald Trump officially launches his 2020 campaign. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui T./Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, USA - JUNE 18: US President Donald Trump (C-L) and first lady Melania Trump (C) arrive on stage during a rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on June 18, 2019. President Donald Trump officially launches his 2020 campaign. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui T./Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive for the official launch of the Trump 2020 campaign at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on June 18, 2019. - Trump kicks off his reelection campaign at what promised to be a rollicking evening rally in Orlando. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump greets First Lady Melania Trump as he takes the stage for the official launch of the Trump 2020 campaign at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on June 18, 2019. - Trump kicks off his reelection campaign at what promised to be a rollicking evening rally in Orlando. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, USA - JUNE 18: US President Donald Trump (R) and first lady Melania Trump (L) greet supporters a rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on June 18, 2019. President Donald Trump officially launches his 2020 campaign. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui T./Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive for the official launch of the Trump 2020 campaign at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on June 18, 2019. - Trump kicks off his reelection campaign at what promised to be a rollicking evening rally in Orlando. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump greet supporters at a rally where the president formally announced his 2020 re-election bid Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
President Donald Trump with first lady Melania Trump arrives to speak at his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Orlando. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
ORLANDO, USA - JUNE 18: US President Donald Trump (C-L) and first lady Melania Trump (C-R) arrive on stage during a rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on June 18, 2019. President Donald Trump officially launches his 2020 campaign. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui T./Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump kiss at a campaign kick off rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
U.S. President Donald Trump reacts with first lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence on stage formally kicking off his re-election bid with a campaign rally in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump wave at a campaign kick off rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
First lady Melania Trump speaks as U.S. President Donald Trump looks on as he formally kick off his re-election bid with a campaign rally in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump reacts with first lady Melania Trump as he formally kick off his re-election bid with a campaign rally in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump reacts with first lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence on stage formally kicking off his re-election bid with a campaign rally in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
First lady Melania Trump speaks as U.S. President Donald Trump looks on as he formally kick off his re-election bid with a campaign rally in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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Sanford, who is also a former South Carolina governor, could not be reached immediately by Reuters for comment.

To date, William Weld, the former governor of Massachusetts, has been the only Republican to attempt to unseat Trump, who has consolidated his grip on the party’s national and state machinery.

Trump's campaign raised $135 million since he filed for re-election on the day he took office, and the Republican National Committee and other committees formed by Trump are also raising money for his reelection.

Twenty-five Democrats are seeking that party’s nomination ahead of the general election in November 2020. [L2N249152]

(Reporting by James Oliphant; Additional reporting by Harriet McLeod; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Susan Thomas)

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