Drive around the Charleston area, and you’re bound to see a few homemade signs advertising for District 1 Congressional candidate Mark Sanford. Apparently running low on ideas since ex-wife Jenny said she wouldn’t run his campaign for him, the Republican hopeful and former governor has been asking his supporters to make homemade campaign signs like this one:

Sure, it lacks the punk-rock cred of the Ron Paul Revolution ’08 stencil campaign, but it does keep up Sanford’s image as the state’s best-known cheapskate. In a March 4 e-mail to supporters, Sanford said his campaign was running out of signs when he spotted a handmade one and loved it. “You can do the same,” he wrote in the e-mail. “Left over plywood out of a dumpster combined with a three dollar can of spray paint works just fine. I even saw an old door being thrown into a dumpster yesterday that would work perfectly as a sign.” Cool. Didn’t know the man was a Dumpster diver.

Anyways, some wiseacre put up a spoof sign near the Trader Joe’s in Mt. Pleasant this morning. An alert reader snapped a picture and e-mailed it to us with a note that the sign was slowing down traffic.

Indeed, Sanford paid $74 grand in March 2010 to settle a slew of charges from the State Ethics Commission alleging that he was misusing campaign funds for, among other things, personal travel expenses and first-class flights. The charges came up after Sanford confessed to having an affair with now-fiancée María Belén Chapur.

Sanford and 14 other contenders for the GOP primary will square off tonight at 6:30 in the free “Fight for the First” forum at North Charleston City Hall. The only candidate absent will be attorney and former Charleston County Council member Curtis Bostic.

The Charleston County Democratic Women will also host the two Democratic contenders in the race, Elizabeth Colbert Busch and Ben Frasier, tonight at 6 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Riverview (301 Savannah Highway). An optional buffet dinner will be available for $15.

UPDATE, March 8: Another alert reader sent in a photo of this sign from near the Kiawah-Seabrook roundabout:

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