Politics & Government

S. Carolina GOP still split on whether Sanford should resign

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Some Republican state lawmakers are privately saying they want Republican Gov. Mark Sanford to step down — of his own volition — this week.

Meanwhile, Sanford has spent portions of the last few days phoning key lawmakers and Republican Party activists, apologizing for his affair with an Argentinian woman that left him out of touch with his staff and other state leaders for the better part of a week.

On another note, a source close to Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer said Sunday that Bauer has approached members of the Senate to discuss the possibility that, if Sanford resigns, Bauer would only serve the remainder of the governor’s term, focusing on job creation, and would not run for governor in 2010 as Bauer had originally intended.

“(Lawmakers) have given (Sanford) 72 hours of breathing room,” said Katon Dawson, immediate past chairman of the state Republican Party, who said he has spent the last few days playing referee between lawmakers who want the governor out and those who want to give him another chance. “But I think, early next week, their patience will run out.”

But Sanford, who has apologized for the extramarital affair and agreed to reimburse the state for money spent on a state Department of Commerce trip on which he saw his mistress, has repeatedly said to media outlets that he will not resign.

Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler, R-Cherokee, who has been critical of the governor’s absence from the state, said Sunday that senators remain split on whether the governor should resign.

When asked whether he himself would support the governor’s continuing in his post, Peeler would not comment.

Read the full story at thestate.com

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