South Carolina Governor Says He's Had An Affair; Wife Told Him To Leave

South Carolina's first lady says she asked Gov. Mark Sanford to leave home and stop talking to her two weeks before he publicly admitted an affair with a woman he visited on a secret trip to Argentina.

Jenny Sanford said in a statement Wednesday that she needed a trial separation from her husband of nearly 20 years to preserve her own sense of dignity.

Mark Sanford said Wednesday he has ended the yearlong affair and his wife has known about his infidelity for five months. The governor says he is seeking his wife's forgiveness and wants to reconcile.

Jenny Sanford's statement says her husband has earned a chance to resurrect their marriage.

He returned Wednesday from a seven-day trip to Argentina. His staff said he'd been hiking the Appalachian Trail.


South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford says he's been having an affair with a woman from Argentina and will resign as head of the Republican Governors' Association.

The married father of four emotionally apologized to his wife, staff and others at a news conference after returning Wednesday from a trip to Argentina that followed a dayslong absence. He staff had said the Republican was hiking on the Appalachian Trail.

Sanford says he met the woman about eight years ago and it became romantic about a year ago. He says his wife and family have known about it for the past five months.

He had been a rumored contender for the 2012 GOP ticket. He's most recently snared headlines for his unsuccessful fight to turn aside federal stimulus cash for his state's schools.

Sanford says, "I've let down a lot of people."

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


"Why all the big cover-up?"

That's what one state senator in South Carolina wants to know.

With state leaders wondering where in the world Gov. Mark Sanford was after hearing nothing from him since last Thursday, the governor's aides yesterday said he had been hiking the Appalachian trail to clear his head after a bruising legislative session.

But today, the Republican governor tells The State newspaper that he'd decided to go to Argentina instead, because he wanted to do something exotic. The paper reported that Sanford arrived in Atlanta on a flight from Buenos Aires this morning.

Sanford tells The State he was alone on the trip, but declined to give any details other than to say he drove along the coastline.

The news prompted state Sen. Jake Knotts, a fellow Republican, to complain: "Lies. Lies. Lies." He says "that's all we ever get" from the governor and his staff.

Neither the governor nor his spokesman has commented on the criticism.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Ben Location: G-Vegas on Jun 29, 2009 at 11:44 PM
    To Wonderer...Because all the female ones (see Nancy Pelosi) are down to the bone ugly
  • by Mom of 2 Location: Lenoir Co on Jun 29, 2009 at 06:44 PM
    I am proud of this woman for not standing by his side. He made is bed and she's allowing him to lay in it alone. Stand strong Jenny get him where it hurts most...his wallet and his loss of pride, to me, would be the icing on the cake.
  • by Mel Location: Trenton on Jun 29, 2009 at 01:42 PM
    I think the worst part is he was not there for his sons on fathers day.
  • by Mike on Jun 29, 2009 at 08:11 AM
    Cheat all you want, but don't lie to your staff and co-workers and don't use tax money to have affairs.
  • by Susan Location: G'Ville on Jun 29, 2009 at 07:26 AM
    I don't believe in cheating... But I got to give it to the man. If you are going to be unfaithful, your wife shouldn't have to run into your lover at the grocery store, hair salon or the next neighborhood gathering. What were the chances they would cross paths. Joking aside from the emails it's obvious that he cared about this woman. I don't condone his actions... but when you read the emails what straight woman out there didn't think at least once (be honest) that they wished someone would express that kind of love and admiration towards them. I have read steamy romance novels that didn't say it any better. Since it appears that his political career is over maybe he will write romance novel with a hunk on the cover. I would probably buy it.
  • by wonderer Location: nc on Jun 29, 2009 at 07:01 AM
    Why is is the male politicians that always do the cheating???
  • by Derek Location: Greenville on Jun 29, 2009 at 06:20 AM
    ALPHA - the republican voters are just upset because Stanford represents the party of "Family Values"....apparently he lacked those values while flying to Argentina to fool around with his mistress. Clinton at least didn't use public funds, wasn't Lewinsky an intern (meaning free labor?). Anyways, wasn't this champion Stanford the guy that didn't want to use bailout funds for education in his state? wasn't he the same guy that wanted clinton out of office? That's why the republican voters are trying to pass off his actions by crying democratic foul...
  • by me2 Location: nc on Jun 29, 2009 at 05:59 AM
    This is what comes along with the fame and glory of being a politician. He's just doing as his peers are doing.Eventually they will all get caught.He is no better than you or me.He just makes a LOT more money.This is part of his life style that he has gotten used to.I guess he figured everybody else is doing it why can't I? Oh well,if it were my husband...he'd be out the door.If he did it one time, what's keeping him from doing it again?Nothing.Believe me it's just going to get worse,from here on out.Like the man says...You aint seen nothing yet.
  • by ~ALPHA female~ Location: O84P on Jun 28, 2009 at 02:08 PM
    HaHa.. I love my repub friends. ..Let me get this straight. ..Because Sanford has cheated, and we are giving him heck about it, you guys are ignoring that fact and throwing Clinton and Kennedy in our faces? LOL ..Smoke and mirrors fellas, smoke and mirrors... ..This story is about Sanford, hence we are commenting on Stanford. ..Who said Clinton or Kennedy or Edwards were right cheating on their wives? They are sleazy scum like Stanford! See the different between Dems and repubs= Dems know our candidates aren't doodoo. My good buddy OSOC has used to much turd polish on the repubs, and Stanford is still shinning to you people. ..You failed to realize... he's still turd, just like the rest of them. So is clinton, kennedy, edwards..etc. Much respect for sanford's Wife... that's right put him out. That old fool had to go all the way to Argentina to BUY a woman, and still got caught. LOL dummy!
  • by Me again Location: Greenville on Jun 28, 2009 at 01:55 PM
    What if we had skipped work for a week...would we still have a job when we got back! Uh, NO!
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