(CNN) - Two major South Carolina newspapers are calling on Gov. Mark Sanford to stay in office.
Last Wednesday, Sanford admitted to a year long extramarital affair with a woman from Argentina. The governor also acknowledged he did not tell his staff that he was in Argentina during a five-day period when his location was not known.
Despite calls from some South Carolina lawmakers and politicians for the governor to resign, Sanford, meanwhile, appears to be standing firm. He wrote in a message to his political action committee e-mail list on Monday that while he considered resigning, "I would ultimately be a better person and of more service in whatever doors God opened next in life if I stuck around to learn lessons rather than running and hiding down at the farm."
The State, the Columbia newspaper that last week broke the story that Sanford was in Argentina, in an editorial Tuesday, says Sanford should stay in office to keep the playing field leveled for the 2010 gubernatorial contest. If Sanford resigns, Lt. Governor Andre Bauer, a fellow Republican but no ally of Sanford, would become governor. Bauer is among a number of candidates who are interested in running for governor in 2010. Sanford is term limited and can't run for re-election next year.
"Reasonable people can disagree over whether it would be better to have Mr. Sanford or Mr. Bauer in the governor's office for the next 18 months. And if Mr. Bauer were not running for governor, this might be a more difficult call. But Mr. Bauer is running for governor, and it simply is not responsible to overlook the tremendous advantage he would have if he were able to use the bully pulpit of that office for the next year," says an op-ed in The State.
The State also raised serious questions about Bauer's preparedness to lead. "Although this could change in the coming year," they wrote, "to this point Mr. Bauer simply has not demonstrated that he has the vision to lead our state.
The editorial questioned Bauer's character and highlighted past run-ins with law enforcement, including the time he used a police radio to waive off state troopers after he was caught driving 101 MPH on a South Carolina highway in a state car.
The paper also questioned whether Bauer was sincere in his suggestion to CNN Monday that he would give up a 2010 gubernatorial bid in exchange for taking over the rest of Sanford's term.
They wrote that Bauer had made a similar pledge before, but failed to keep his promise.
"If we're looking to rid our state of embarrassment, it's hard to see how replacing Mr. Sanford with Mr. Bauer would accomplish that. And it's hard to overstate the potential long-term downside of such a move."
The Charleston Post and Courier also urges that Sanford stay in office.
"Gov. Mark Sanford ended any speculation about his plans to resign on Sunday when he declared, with finality, that he would remain for the rest of his term. That won't end demands by his legislative critics for his resignation in the wake of his extramarital affair. But it provides a measure of reality about their prospects. Like the governor, they should make the best of a difficult situation," says the newspaper in an editorial.
Last week, two smaller South Carolina newspapers, the Spartanburg Herald-Journal and the Orangeburg Times and Democrat, called on Sanford to resign.
Send a message to South Carolina – If you're going to vacation there, go somewhere else. Let them know it. Only the dollar speaks to politicians.
So palling around with Latinas, showing empathy and offering socialist stimulus, is in fact ok with the Republicans???
"Stay Mark, Stay" Remember, we have to talk to him like the dog he has turned out to be.
Pretty biased and self serving article by The State......I'd say they're backing a different horse in the race for 2010
I certainly believe in God, however, I really get tired of all of these "christian conservatives" who feel the need to validate everything they say and do by throwing God into the mix like some kind of protective cloak!
Apparently the alternative is worse.
If Clinton didn't have to resign after his affair (while ON the job), why should Sanford have to quit his?
republicans are hypocrites and southerners are stupid because they are still voting these people into office. the poorest part of the country and they still favor republicans , who are for the rich.go figure
I am a fellow South Carolinian and I hope he stays in office. His honesty earned even more of my respect. If everyone in this forum that is pointing fingers would reflect on your own lives, you would find that there is noone, including myself, that would have a right to cast judgement on Gov. Sanford. Sin is sin, whether its a little white lie or adultry. Sin has no scale. If your guilty of one, your guilty of all and the wages of sin is death. He acknowleded he was wrong and he asked for forgiveness. It is my duty to grant him just that.
Let Stanford stay. He is not the only hypocrite who has been worshiped by simple minded people.
He shouldn't resign because he had an affair and lied about it. That's between he and his wife. He should resign because he left the state for nearly a week without telling anyone where he was, probably using state money to do so, all to visit his mistress after having run on a platform of Family Values (and by Family Values, I mean gays are not allowed).
Then again, such behavior hasn't seem to hurt Newt Gingrich's prospects for president.
For a so-called "conservative" state, this kind of moral relativism is just amazing to me.
Why should the 2010 governor's race have ANYTHING to do with whether or not Sanford should resign?
And what kind of politics is "The State" newspaper engaged in? This is the same newspaper that sat on the salacious e-mails from Sanford to his paramour for 6 months? Why is no one, including CNN, throwing the journalism book at this newspaper and its' editors?
For those of you saying this is exactly like Clinton .... really? I didn't realize Clinton went AWOL for a week out of the country. I could care less if he had an affair, but when you just pick up and leave, don't try to tell us your doing your job .... get out
Marty – it doesn't matter that Sanford was unfaithful. That has nothing to do with his ability to do his job. However, taking off for five days without letting anyone know where he was does compromise his ability to do his job. He left the state without a leader. Luckily for him, nothing came up that required the governor, but what if it had? Should he resign? I don't know. I do know that if he were my governor and had pulled that disappearing act – I would want him out.
If he should resign or not has already been decided by the Clinton affairs. Moonbeam, if you think that Jenny Sanford was the real governor, then you need to quit smoking pot.
How can anyone support a cheat!?! Just another example of this country's slid into insginificance.
Sure that makes perfect sense, let the Hypocrite stay, NOT.
Adultery is a sin just like abortion is AND one sin is not bigger than the other like the GOP like to think.
SIN IS SIN and until the GOP realized that they will be called the party of HYPOCRITES!
First, if he used taxpayer money for a meeting with his mistress, it is a little more serious politically than just an affair
Second, for a party that espouses traditional values and belittles gay marriage, what Mark Sanford, John Ensign, David Vitter and any other cheaters in both parties have done to the institution of marriage is far worse than any gay couple marrying has done. They are hypocrites, much in the same way Al Gore is a hypocrite for warning everyone about global warming and living in a house that has the "carbon footprint" the size of Rhode Island.
It's not only about the affair; the man left his job for nearly 9 days and nobody knew where he was; he's a Governor for heavens sake. Why would you want this kind of leader?
I knew it all a long, repulicans have no character, especially elected officials. RESIGN, SANFORD
Forget his politics he lied to South Carolina and put himself above his country. Ann Coulter would probably call it treason.
Sanford is damaged goods but Bauer isn't conservative enough. You got to love watching these repubs shrink there party even further. It is S.C.s problem I could care less what they do.
Sanford apologists don't get it.
It's not the cheating! It's the AWOL!
Funny how some are crying, "Clinton did it and didn't resign!"
What? Clinton went AWOL for 5 days to another continent?
Maybe I missed it on the news.
Who cares what 2 newspapers think?
The adulterous Sanford who proclaimed his "family values" as his political platform just admitted again today that he has lied again. He visited his mistress more than 8 times this past year and at SC taxpayer expense. His own wife was betrayed and cannot trust him. How can the people of SC believe anything he says and or that he is working for their interests? The only person he appears to care about is himself.
He is a hypocrite, a liar, a questionablly mentally stable person, and saying he is sorry does not make what he did all become OK. People should be held accountable for their actions.
Sanford made his choice – his mistress over his family and his career. Now he should have to live with it. Sanford needs to resign and stop embarrassing his family. His ego is disgusting and shows a total lack of character.