June 22nd, 2009
09:25 PM ET
1 year ago

South Carolina governor goes missing

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has mysteriously stepped out of the public eye.
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has mysteriously stepped out of the public eye.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – After a bruising session with the state legislature, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has mysteriously stepped out of the public eye.

Even his wife, Jenny, said Monday that she didn’t know where the governor was, according to the Associated Press. But Sanford's office expressed no concern Monday afternoon about his absence.

Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer said Sanford “put in a lot of time during this last legislative session, and after the session winds down it's not uncommon for him to go out of pocket for a few days at a time to clear his head.”

However, Sawyer added in a statement sent to CNN: “Obviously, that's going to be somewhat out of the question this time given the attention this particular absence has gotten. Before leaving last week, he let staff know his whereabouts and that he'd be difficult to reach. Should any emergencies arise between the times in which he checks in, our staff would obviously be in contact with other state officials as the situation warrants before making any decisions.”

Earlier in the day, Sawyer said Sanford had simply taken some time away from work to “recharge after the stimulus battle.” Sawyer did not address Jenny Sanford’s comments to the AP in either statement.

State Sen. Jake Knotts, a fellow Republican and opponent of Sanford, told CNN that South Carolina law enforcement officials informed him Saturday that the governor had taken a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division vehicle on Thursday and had not yet returned.

"I found out that he was taking frequent trips at odd times of the night in a SLED car with no security," Knotts said. "He would be driving. I got wind that he had taken another one of these types of capers last Thursday, and that nobody knew who he was with.

Knotts added: "On Saturday, I still was getting wind that he had not shown back up and nobody knew where he was."

Knotts said a SLED official told him on Monday that Sanford still had not returned.

"He needs to transfer the power and let the lieutenant governor, which the constitution requires, let him be the person that makes the decisions." Knotts said. "My concern was 'Who would be in charge should an emergency arrive for the safety of the people and citizens of the state?'"

State Senate Minority Leader John Land, a Democrat, accused Sanford of engaging in "erratic" behavior.

"We've been concerned by the governor's erratic behavior for some time," Land said in a prepared statement. "We're praying for him and his family. I hope he is safe and that he contacts the First Lady and his family soon."


Filed under: Mark Sanford • South Carolina
soundoff (193 Responses)
  1. Russ

    Maybe he is in Dick Cheney's undisclosed location.

    June 22, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  2. kkk

    only the kennedys go to rehab when an emergency pops up

    June 22, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  3. jara

    Maybe he's skipped the state for good. Yay!

    June 22, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  4. Plainview

    A missing Republican governor? Sounds good to me!

    June 22, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  5. B Sparks

    None of you have ever needed time away? Just some time to yourself?

    June 22, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  6. rhonda

    maybe palin can see where the governor is from her house

    June 22, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  7. Cry Me A River GOP

    For the love of Pete,

    This guy is being considered for president? God forbids if he happens to get into office and he takes off the moment the democrats doesn't give him what he wants!

    June 22, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  8. Liberals have Mental Disease

    He's depressed that Obama has already ruined the country beyond any return. He is just trying to find out where he should move his family to that is a free nation.

    June 22, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  9. SDW

    Should we care??

    June 22, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  10. What???

    Gee, I'd be worried sick if my cat went missing.

    This woman isn't at all concerned that her husband has disappeared? Bizarre.

    June 22, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  11. kman821

    Has anyone checked Cynthia Hampton's place to see if he's over there "visiting" her??? On the other hand ... does anyone really care where he's at???

    June 22, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  12. johnathan

    The rest of the GOP should follow this guy, to wherever he dissapeared to.

    June 22, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  13. cuba gooding

    some body better check around the rainbow gatherng in NM maybe the hippie in him took over.

    June 22, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  14. david

    This has got rehab written all over it.

    June 22, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  15. Elaine

    Maybe he's with Sarah Palin discussing 2012...LOL

    June 22, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  16. Peter E

    Oh, the great hero warrior who stood up to government... to reject less than 10% of the stimulus money to his state, while quietly still accepting over 90% of it. Such a champion of fiscal conservatism...

    June 22, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  17. Lynn

    Wus. He needed time after the stimulus package hearings. He didn't read it so what made him tired? Was it having his tail kicked by his own State Supreme Court.

    He needs to get back to work so he can at least pretend like he is earning his heath care for life benefits.

    June 22, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  18. Dave in Savannah

    Yet another prominent Republican with "issues". I guess we can add "crazy" to the lying,cheating, sleaziness and mind blowing hypocrisy that already defines their party.

    June 22, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  19. Only 21% of Americans trust republicans to lead them into the 21st century!

    Hopefully, Sanford is the first one that the "rapture" has reached down and taken!

    We can all pray that the other "christian" neo-cons are not far behind, leaving us poor heathens to deal with pestilence, plague, pesky horsemen, but NO republicans!

    Thank you, God!

    June 22, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  20. rc

    Now, now. Don't say mean things about the governor. People who have big time mental problems often go off somewhere. They are usually tracked down by then men with trained dogs. So don't worry. It's not his fault that he's a bit kookoo. Once he gets back on his meds, I'm sure he'll be alright if not quite air tight.

    June 22, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  21. matt

    Watch out republicans dictator Obama and the communist liberals and dem are coming from you next they will want to put cameras in your house

    June 22, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  22. matt

    Watch out republicans dictator Obama and the communist liberals and dem are coming from you next they will want to put cameras in your house

    June 22, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  23. Limbaugh is a liberal

    You know if these governors spent even half as much effort they put into their presidential campaign on actually doing their job, their states would not be in the mess they are in now!

    June 22, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  24. Kumar

    No worries, he's probably off to the Everglades. You'll just have to call him by his new name now....Skink. ;)

    June 22, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  25. bunnypink

    he probably with his black wife and thier 8 kids like Strom Thurmond

    June 22, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
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