Turmoil in S. Carolina as calls mount for Sanford to quit

The StateJuly 1, 2009 

WORLD NEWS SCGOV 3 MCT

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford met Argentina's former vice president, Daniel Scioli, on June 26, 2008, in LaPlata, Argentina, during a trip last year made to see his mistress.

ARCHIVOLATINO / MCT

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Sen. Tom Davis, Gov. Mark Sanford's former chief of staff, said Wednesday he has spoken with both the governor and First Lady Jenny Sanford about the governor's future. Davis, in a statement, said only after those conversations and conversations with Attorney General Henry McMaster and SLED Chief Reggie Lloyd will he take a public position on Sanford's future.

"Obviously I have tremendous concern for my friends, Mark and Jenny Sanford and their family, but I also have a job to do as an elected official," said Davis, a Beaufort Republican. "Before any important decision I make comes due diligence, and I owe it to my constituents to perform that due diligence before taking a public position on an issue as important as whether to call for the resignation of a duly-elected statewide official."

"Accordingly, I have met today with the governor and members of his staff; I have had telephone conversations with my friend, Jenny Sanford; I have talked with the governor’s legislative supporters and opponents; and I have talked with key reform leaders who have been fighting for the issues I believe in — fiscal responsibility, limited government, market principles and individual liberty"

On Wednesday afternoon, Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn McConnell became the latest — and one of the most significant — members of the S.C. legislature to say the governor should consider stepping down after admitting to an affair.

On Wednesday morning, U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., urged Sanford to make the "right decision."

“He’s dropped the flag. The rest of us have to get up and go on,” DeMint said during an interview on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.” “A lot of us are talking to him behind the scenes in hopes that he'll make the right decision about what needs to be done.”

Asked what the “right decision” would be for Sanford, DeMint said: “I don't want to say.”

Twelve of the 27 members of the state Senate's Majority Caucus now have signed a petition, calling for Sanford to resign.

The latest Republican to sign was state Sen. Wes Hayes, R-York, chairman of the Senate's ethics committee.

Two additional senators considered among Sanford’s staunchest allies, also said they want him to resign though they did not sign the letter. Two other senior senators who spoke to the State said Tuesday’s revelations moved them closer to asking Sanford to step down.

The letter was crafted by Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler, R-Cherokee, and was circulated among Senate Republicans on Tuesday.

It marked a major break in the silence of the General Assembly, which has the authority to remove the governor. Senators have been debating what to do about Sanford since late last week, while House members have largely remained silent.

To read the complete article, visit thestate.com.

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