SC Gov. Mark Sanford Admits Affair
Jim Davenport | The Associated Press via YellowBrix
September 16, 2009
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Gov. Mark Sanford admitted Wednesday he’s been having an affair with a woman he visited on a secret trip to Argentina and said he’ll resign as head of the Republican Governors Association. Sanford, a rumored 2012 presidential candidate, refused to say whether he’ll leave office.
“I’ve let down a lot of people, that’s the bottom line,” Sanford said at a news conference. He said he’s known the woman about eight years, but their relationship turned into something more a year ago while he was on an economic development trip to Argentina.
Sanford, a 49-year-old father of four, choked up during remarks to reporters. He said his wife has known about the affair for the last five months.
Sanford revealed Wednesday morning that he’d gone to Argentina for a seven-day trip. For two days after reporters starting asking questions, his office had said he had gone hiking on the Appalachian Trial.
Meanwhile, first lady Jenny Sanford had told The Associated Press she did not know where her husband went for the Father’s Day weekend.
First elected governor in 2002, the former real estate developer has more than year remaining in his second term and is barred by state law from running again.
A former three-term congressman, Sanford most recently snared headlines for his unsuccessful fight to turn aside federal stimulus cash for his state’s schools. His vocal battle against the Obama administration—and libertarian, small-government leanings—won praise from conservative pundits. Ultimately, a state court order required him to take the money.