|Governor of South Carolina|
From: January 15, 2003 – Present
|Predecessor||James Hovis Hodges|
|Successor||Incumbent (no successor)|
|U.S. Representative from South Carolina's 1 District|
From: January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2001
|Predecessor||Arthur Ravenel, Jr.|
|Successor||Henry E. Brown, Jr.|
Mark Sanford is the Republican Governor of South Carolina. He was elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006. Prior to his election as Governor of South Carolina, Sanford served six years in the U.S. Congress. He is married and has four sons. Sanford was mentioned as a possible running mate for John McCain in the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. 
Sanford made national headlines when he rejected a portion of the 2009 recovery act. This has drawn the ire of Democrats and they have mounted a TV campaign against his move. Governor Sanford said "When one is in a hole, the first order of business is to stop digging." He refuses to expand unemployment coverage because the terms dictate he can't repeal the expanded coverage after the stimulus money runs out. The governors of Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana have adopted the same stance. The S.C. governor wants to use some stimulus funds to pay down debt instead. The secretary of state had sued the governor to accept stimulus funds. Sanford reluctantly agreed to use stimulus funds.
Sanford admitted June 24, 2009, to having an extra-marital affair and covering up a secret trip to visit his mistress in Argentina. He made the admission at a press conference meant to clear up a mysterious week-long absence where his staff initially explained by saying the Governor was hiking the Appalachian Trail.
Fallout From Scandal
"I've let down a lot of people. That's the bottom line," Sanford said. "I've been unfaithful to my wife." He was forced to resign as chairman of the Republican Governors Association as his presidential ambitions evaporated.
Digging himself even deeper, on June 30 he publicly described his Argentine mistress as his "soul mate" and admitted to a handful of encounters with other women that "crossed lines." Republican lawmakers in South Carolina who had at first supported the governor suddenly turned against him, saying the disclosures amounted to a distraction that would prevent him from effectively doing the state's business.
Sanford continues to resist demands from outraged and betrayed conservatives and Republicans who have demanded he resign as governor and turn over power to Lt. Gov. André Bauer, a Republican who has had embarrassment from speeding episodes.
"Crisis requires people in leadership positions to act decisively, with as much dispassionate wisdom and judgment as possible," Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler and several other state GOP senators said in a joint statement, adding: "We therefore have concluded that Governor Mark Sanford must resign his office. He has lost the trust of the people and the legislature to lead our state through historically difficult times."
Conservatives have expressed admiration for his wife Jenny, who ran his campaigns and now has dissociated herself from Sanford.
- S.C. gov wants to use some stimulus funds to pay down debt CNN, March 10, 2009