COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - A top South Carolina Republican is calling on Mark Sanford to resign following his admission of an extramarital affair, making him the first GOP official in the state to say openly the governor should step aside.
South Carolina Republican National Committee member Glenn McCall cited Sanford's past criticism of Bill Clinton, and accused the governor of hypocrisy.
"He was saying our elected leaders needs to stand firm on principles and values and one of those is strong family values," McCall told CNN in a phone interview. "What he said is hypocritical if he doesn't step down, because he was right with what he said about Clinton and others. When you are elected leader we hold you to higher standards. "
Elected to his post by state GOP activists last year, McCall is not a state lawmaker and has no formal ability to pressure the governor to remove himself from office. But he holds considerable sway with the state's religious conservative community and is considered a rising star in the state Republican Party. He is also one of the three African-American members of the RNC.
McCall said his decision reflects the sentiment of the activists in York County, where he is the county party chairman.
"I got an e-mail from someone this morning who asked me, 'What is the difference between our party and the Democrats when we have our guys behave like this?'" McCall said.
McCall said he primarily concerned with returning the Republican party to national prominence. He said that the state legislature should investigate whether Sanford abused power or misused state money to visit his mistress, but he said he didn't think an impeachment vote would be productive.