South Carolina governor resigns GOP post, explains disappearance

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Friday, June 26, 2009

At a press conference in Columbia, the capital of South Carolina, Republican Governor Mark Sanford admitted that a week-long disappearance by him was to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where a woman he had been having an affair with resides. File:GovernorSanford- OfficialPortrait.jpg

Mark Sanford
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

His wife, Jenny Sanford, was not aware of her husband's location during this time, as they have been undergoing a trial separation for the past two weeks following his private disclosure of the matter previously. The Governor's staff was also not sure of where Governor Sanford was, telling the press earlier that he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail.

After it was discovered that he had flown back to Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport from Buenos Aires, Governor Sanford admitted on Wednesday morning that he left for South America after the conclusion of a tenuous legislative session, initially saying only that he had been driving along the coastline.

The affair was only made known to the public at a nationally-televised press conference on Wednesday afternoon, where the Governor also resigned from his post as the chairperson of the U.S. Republican Governors Association. He did not answer questions about if he would serve out the remainder of his last term in office, which concludes in 2011.

In a press release issued by his office, Governor Sanford apologized to his family, staff, and constituents — the people of South Carolina. He also explicitly declared that his staff at no time had "intentionally relay[ed] false information ... [w]hat they've said over the past two days they believed to be true."

Jenny Sandford, in a statement issued Wednesday, said that she would be willing to be reunited with her husband, if he continued to work towards a reconciliation.

Governor Sanford had been named previously as a potential candidate for the 2012 U.S. Presidential election.