Sanford's future up for discussion with S.C. Republicans

The State (Columbia, S.C.)July 6, 2009 

Gov. Mark Sanford's secret visit to Buenos Aires that left state officials and his own staff unsure of his whereabouts has spawned a meeting today of the state Republican Party executive committee.

Members, who plan to talk via conference call, are expected to consider several options ranging from doing nothing, to publicly admonishing the governor, to calling for his resignation.

Already, a majority of state Republican senators and some Democratic lawmakers have called for the governor to step down. Some members of the public are joining in the rallying cry.

But Sanford has repeatedly said he did not misuse state funds and won't relinquish his post.

Meanwhile, the embattled governor and his family returned to South Carolina on Sunday following a three-day break in Florida.

Sanford's spokesman, Joel Sawyer, cited privacy reasons for not saying where in the state. Sawyer expected the governor back in Columbia by this morning.

Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, who would serve out the last 18 months of Sanford's tenure should Sanford resign, has also returned from a Florida trip and is back in Columbia.

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