The Fix: S.C. Governor Mark Sanford Admits Affair
Wednesday, June 24, 2009; 3:58 PM
Gov. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) admitted that he had conducted an extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina who he had gone to visit over the last five days -- during which time a massive media story developed over where he was and why.
"I have been unfaithful to my wife . . . I developed a relationship with what started as a dear dear friend," said Sanford.
He said that he had met the woman, who he did not name, roughly eight years ago and that it had become romantic within the last year. He visited her three times during the past year, Sanford said, and noted that his wife, Jenny, had been aware of the affair for the past five months.
"First and foremost, I apologize to my wife and my four boys. I have made decisions that have hurt and will continue to hurt them, and for that I'm sincerely sorry," Sanford said in a statement released after his at-times rambling announcement in the South Carolina statehouse. "Jenny has stood by me through campaign after campaign, through hard time after hard time, and neither she nor the boys deserve this. Please offer them your prayers."
Sanford announced his resignation as chairman of the Republican Governors Association but did not offer any hint of whether he was considering resigning as governor of the Palmetto State. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour was quickly named as Sanford's replacement at the RGA. Barbour said the Sanford news "hurts all of us who have gotten to know Governor Sanford over the years."
In his statement, Sanford also apologized to his staff for misleading them about his whereabouts and added: "I want to make absolutely clear that over the past two days at no time did anyone on my staff intentionally relay false information to other state officials or the public at large. What they've said over the past two days they believed to be true, and I'm sorry to them for putting them in this position.