Mark Sanford Fiancee: Who Is Maria Belen Chapur?

04/04/2013 11:23 am ET | Updated Apr 04, 2013

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford won the GOP nomination in the race for an open House seat in his state Tuesday night, and in a rare public appearance, his fiancee, Maria Belen Chapur, stood by his side during his victory speech.

According to the Post and Courier, Chapur is only visiting from Argentina for a short while.

So who is the woman at the center of the 2009 scandal that derailed Sanford's political career?

In June 2009, Sanford, then governor of South Carolina, disappeared for several days, claiming to be on a solo hiking trip along the Appalachian Trail. It was soon revealed that the hike was a cover-up -- Sanford was in fact headed to Argentina to visit Chapur, with whom he had been having an extramarital affair.

Shortly after the affair became public, Sanford tearfully confessed his infidelity and his wife, Jenny Sanford, filed for divorce. The former first lady of South Carolina said she knew about the affair months before its public revelation.

In August 2012, Sanford revealed that he and Chapur are engaged, but still little is known about Chapur's identity. According to Time magazine, Chapur is in her forties and is a former TV reporter.

Sanford and his fiancee rarely appear together in public. Until Tuesday's election night festivities, Chapur was nowhere to be seen during Sanford's redemption campaign.

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