Gov. Mark Sanford offered one more apology to his state and family, and asked to put past differences with lawmakers aside to achieve a handful of goals in his eighth, and final, State of the State address as governor Wednesday.
The 53-minute speech also touched on Sanford's accomplishments during his seven years in office, ticking off changes that have saved money, preserved land or increased public access to records.
The speech was Sanford's first statewide opportunity to discuss his secret five-day June trip to Argentina and subsequent admission of an extramarital affair, and he said the unscripted apology would be his last.
Though Sanford and his wife, Jenny, are divorcing, he thanked her for "her truly phenomenal grace that she showed the world and the state in the storm that I brought to our family and the state at large."
"After this speech, those of you who have grown weary of my apologizing rest easy, because I won't do it again," Sanford later added. "I am compelled to say that I'm sorry, one more time, for the situation I created."
As expected, Sanford laid out three goals he would like to accomplish in his final year:
- Reforming the state's unemployment agency
- Restructuring state government, including putting the governor and lieutenant governor on the same ticket
- And imposing caps on state spending to set aside money in good years to prevent budget cuts
"For the sake of good government," he said, "please give this power to whoever follows me."
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