S.C. Governor Mark Sanford Admits Affair - "I've Been Unfaithful - WSPA.com

S.C. Governor Mark Sanford Admits Affair - "I've Been Unfaithful to My Wife"

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By Chris Cato, Staff


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Gov. Mark Sanford admitted to an affair and says he has been unfaithful to his wife.

He says he told a staffer about his love for the Appalachian Trail and frustrations over stimulus funding, but it wasn't the whole story.

He says the relationship started a friendship with a woman about a year ago as she was going through a separation. He says he advised he to get back together for the sake of her 2 children.

"So the bottom line is this: I've been unfaithful to my wife. I've developed a relationship with a dear, dear friend from Argentina ... started with a casual email back and forth" Sanford said.

He says he told his staff he thought he was going to hike Appalachian Trail, but instead Sanford says he took a trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina Wednesday morning. He says he paid for the trip.

Sanford said he met the woman eight years ago and one year ado their friendship developed into "something more". He said his wife learned of the affair five months ago.
Sanford says he has been working with his wife on the issue. Today he tearfully apologized to her and to their sons, to his friends, to all South Carolinians and to the woman he's having an affair with.

"I hurt her, I hurt you all, I hurt my wife, I hurt my boys, I hurt friends like Tom Davis, I hurt a lot of good folks."
"I would simply say - I go back to that simple word of asking for forgiveness." Sanford said.

Gov. Sanford says he will resign as chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association.

Governor Sanford released the following statement:

"First and foremost, I apologize to my wife and my four boys. I have made decisions that have hurt and will continue to hurt them, and for that I'm sincerely sorry. Jenny has stood by me through campaign after campaign, through hard time after hard time, and neither she nor the boys deserve this. Please offer them your prayers.

"I apologize to my staff. I misled them about my whereabouts, and as a result the people of South Carolina believed something that wasn't true. I want to make absolutely clear that over the past two days at no time did anyone on my staff intentionally relay false information to other state officials or the public at large. What they've said over the past two days they believed to be true, and I'm sorry to them for putting them in this position.

"I apologize to the people of South Carolina. There are many people out there right now who are hurt, angry and disappointed with me, and rightfully so. Over the time that I have left in office, I'm going to devote my energy to building back the trust the people of this state have placed in me."

"I ask for your forgiveness, and your prayers for everyone who I've hurt," Sanford said.

The State newspaper reports they have uncovered the name of Sanford's mistress. They report her name is Maria and lives in Buenos Aires. The State has also uncovered emails between Sanford and Marie. One email reads:

"Two, mutual feelings .... You have a particular grace and calm that I adore. You have a level of sophistication that so fitting with your beauty. I could digress and say that you have the ability to give magnificent gentle kisses, or that I love your tan lines or that I love the curve of your hips, the erotic beauty of you holding yourself (or two magnificent parts of yourself) in the faded glow of the night’s light - but hey, that would be going into sexual details ..." Read More

The governor's wife, Jenny Sanford released a statement: “This trial separation was agreed to with the goal of ultimately strengthening our marriage. During this short separation it was agreed that Mark would not contact us. I kept this separation quiet out of respect of his public office and reputation, and in hopes of keeping our children from just this type of public exposure. Because of this separation, I did not know where he was in the past week.“

“I believe enduring love is primarily a commitment and an act of will, and for a marriage to be successful, that commitment must be reciprocal. I believe Mark has earned a chance to resurrect our marriage.“ Read full statement

Reaction is coming in from around the Statehouse and Washington.

Attorney general McMaster: Until all the facts are known, any speculation regarding potential action by this office is premature."

News Channel 7 Reporter Chris Cato spoke with Lt. Governor Andre Bauer Wednesday morning he says he is "angry" about Governor Mark Sanford's clandestine trip to Argentina.

"I was lied to by his staff," says Bauer, "and I want to know why."

Bauer calls Sanford's trip to South America irresponsible.

"What if there had been some major emergency, like the wildfires we had in North Myrtle Beach a few weeks ago?" says Bauer. " When that happened, (state officials) were able to track him down and he made key decisions to spare people from major damage. If something like that had happened during this trip of his, who would have been in charge?"

South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Carol Fowler released the following statement today in response to recent developments in Governor Mark Sanford's disappearance.

"It is the height of irresponsibility for the Governor to walk out on his solemn duty to the people of South Carolina, and to be completely out of touch without making arrangements for those responsibilities to be handled in his absence. When it comes to the real needs and concerns of South Carolinians, Mark Sanford has been pretty much missing in action for the last 6 and a half years. But it is not acceptable for him to be actually missing. However, as disturbing as it is to walk out on your responsibilities without telling anyone, what's more troubling is that the Governor and his staff have been less than truthful about his whereabouts." said Fowler.

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)statement: “I’ve been a close friend of Mark and Jenny since our election to Congress in 1994. Like all of their friends, I want the best for their family and hope they can repair the damage. I will provide any personal support I can. Jenny and Mark have four wonderful boys. The Sanford family needs time and space to work through their challenges. I hope they are afforded that opportunity. As for the future, I hope Mark will reconcile with his family and can continue serving as our state's governor.”

U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC): “Mark spoke of moral absolutes. The truth is that none of us is capable of fully living the truths that we proclaim, so each of us is dependent on grace. Mary Anne and I have prayed for Mark, Jenny and the boys, and we will continue to do so. I’m glad to have read Psalm 51 this morning; it prepared me for a day like this—a day of tears, not of taunts. I haven’t always agreed with Mark’s policies or politics, but today I want more than ever to be his friend.”

House Speaker Bobby Harrell: “Today’s revelations are disturbing and shocking. There is no excuse for the unfortunate events that have transpired in recent days. The personal issues must be sorted out by the Sanford family and we hope for the best for them during this most difficult time. For five days the governor let his staff deceive the press and the people of South Carolina regarding where he was and what he was doing."

South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Karen Floyd: “On the personal front, today’s news is neither a Republican nor Democrat issue. It is sad that any family suffers like this, particularly when it is played out on a public stage. Effective, responsive, and responsible government is a hallmark of our party. Conservative leaders have earned and kept the trust of South Carolina’s majority for many years, and I will make every effort to ensure our party keeps that trust. In the hours and days ahead, I will reach out to and work with Republican office-holders, candidates, and activists to regain public confidence and win the next round of elections.”

Amy Wood is blogging about the governor's affair. Click Here to view a replay of the blog

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