SC Gov. Mark Sanford Admits Affair
Jim Davenport | The Associated Press via YellowBrix
September 16, 2009
Sanford’s announcement came a day after another prominent Republican, Sen. John Ensign of Nevada, apologized to his GOP Senate colleagues after revealing last week that he had an affair with a campaign staffer and was resigning from the GOP leadership.
Sanford was born May 28, 1960, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the eldest of four siblings. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Furman University in 1983 and a master’s of business administration from the University of Virginia in 1988.
After working for a couple of years in the financial world in New York, he returned to South Carolina and said he was shaped by his summers working on the family plantation. He served in the U.S. House for three terms before honoring a term limits pledge and leaving office in 2001.
In 2002, he defeated incumbent Democrat Jim Hodges by 4 percentage points to become governor and won re-election in 2006, beating Democratic state Sen. Tommy Moore.
As governor, Sanford has had seemingly endless run-ins with the GOP-dominated Legislature, once bringing pigs to the House chamber to protest pork barrel spending. He also put a “spending clock” outside his office to show how quickly a proposed budget would spend state money.