August 7th, 2009
06:51 PM ET
5 years ago

Jenny Sanford moving out of governor's mansion

Jenny Sanford will live in Charleston while her husband lives in the governor's mansion in Columbia.
Jenny Sanford will live in Charleston while her husband lives in the governor's mansion in Columbia.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford and her four boys are moving out of the governor's mansion in Columbia and back to their home in Charleston for the upcoming school year.

The wife of South Carolina governor Mark Sanford announced the news in a statement e-mailed to reporters on Friday, days after the family returned from a two-week vacation to an undisclosed location in Europe.

"While we will be leaving Columbia, we will return often, and I will remain engaged in activities in my role as First Lady, acknowledging that my responsibilities to my family come first," she said.

Mark and Jenny Sanford's four boys have attended Heathwood Hall Episcopal School in Columbia, but they will presumably enroll in a new school in the Charleston area.

Updated with Mark Sanford's statement after the jump

The Sanfords have lived together in the governor's mansion on Arsenal Hill since 2003, when Mark was sworn in as governor, but the family has also spent a good deal of time in their private Charleston residence.

The couple have been working to repair their marriage after Sanford admitted to an extramarital affair with an Argentine woman in June. He has rebuffed calls for his resignation and says he plans to serve out the remainder of his second term.

In her statement, Sanford said she was thankful for "the overwhelming support and prayers we have received from people all across South Carolina."

"I am literally in awe of how blessed we are to have such love and support from family and friends, old and new," she said.

UPDATE: Mark Sanford's office issued the following statement on Jenny's move:

"The First Lady's Office has already put out a statement that speaks for the family, on this decision that we felt best, both for our process of reconciliation, and for the boys in the upcoming school year," Sanford said. "I stand by this family decision and accordingly ask the media to honor the zone of privacy that Jenny has asked for on behalf of the healing process and our four boys going forward."

UPDATE: Gov. Mark Sanford issued a statement on the decision Friday afternoon asking for privacy for his family.

"The First Lady's Office has already put out a statement that speaks for the family, on this decision that we felt best, both for our process of reconciliation, and for the boys in the upcoming school year," he said.

"I stand by this family decision and accordingly ask the media to honor the zone of privacy that Jenny has asked for on behalf of the healing process and our four boys going forward."


Filed under: Jenny Sanford • Mark Sanford
soundoff (254 Responses)
  1. James

    Nice. The world is finally realizing that the far right wing nuts are totally out of control. Their saviour is Rush Limbaugh not Jesus. This governor needs to go and bring in a Democrat to take his place. How many more closet pedophiles, molestors, and adulterers have to come out the Republican closet?? They are the ONES that are breaking this country apart with their holier than thou propaganda!

    August 7, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  2. Bertha

    chicago4obama – What a radical statement! I was born in SC. I'm a retired counselor with a master's degree with a 4.0 gpa. I don't drive around in a pick-up with a dead deer strapped to the hood. SC gets a bad rap in the media. I'm a 60 year old white female who voted for Obama and financially supports his causes. I do agree with you on something. I am sick of Graham, Sanford and let's add DeMint. I didn't vote for any of them. You may want to rethink you view of "the
    South".

    August 7, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  3. Lisa Weiss

    Denial!
    The R wing want an excuse for everything unethical !
    I would not forget a cheat that abandoned his post and misused his power as Governor.
    That goes for both sides.
    It is how he went about it.If your going to cheat on your wife and Kids get a divorce.You can't have your cake and eat it too!
    He is a deal breaker he needs to step down!!!!
    I can forgive but not forget
    He knew what he was doing was wrong.
    Lisa

    August 7, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  4. keekers

    Guess his "soulmate" surfaced in Europe...
    Jenny, you owe your sons the lessons of a decent woman.

    August 7, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  5. Nuts

    Sarah Palin released a statement on ObamaCare

    "NO DEATH PANEL!"

    August 7, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  6. North of South

    Stick it to him Jenny Mark S. is not fit for the lowest of low your sons will grow up better without that scummy influence and it isnt the end but for you a new beginning you are a classy lady dont let this scum bay drag you down to his level he did it many times before and will do it again cut the tie and let him fly.
    Been there done that and it works kids do move on and end up better for it.
    Much happiness to you from a Demo.

    August 7, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  7. Thinking Voter

    I greatly respect this woman and how she's handled this situation.

    Each situation is different. Certainly where there's abuse its time to get out.

    August 7, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  8. aroundtheblock

    Alpha males through the centuries have always had multiple women. This is true in other species of mammals. Christian sexual ethics restricts sex to marriage - one lifetime sexual partner for each man and each woman. Now that American society has rejected Christian sexual ethics, is it any wonder that the natural polygamous tendencies of men is being atct out more, at least for those alpha meles that can attract multiple females?

    Jenny stays marrked to the Governor even after he's had another woman as a concubine because he is an alpha male and she is able to maintain her place as his chief consort, just like the other wives of alpha males who have been in a similar situation, e.g., Clinton, Spitzer, JFK, FDR, Martin Luther King, Ray Charles, Jacob (in the Bible) etc. The women who say that they would dump their husbands in the same situation are typically married to beta or gamma males.

    August 7, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  9. Terry from West Texas

    The frothing fury aroused in most women by a straying husband is disqualifying many good men from office. The list of effective leaders who have had an occasional dalliance contains many famous and respected names. Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson, John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, John Edwards, and many, many, many, many more.

    Shall we extend our scorn to those whose family life is not up to June Cleaver's standards? The Reagan family was pretty dysfunctional. Albert Einstein's children would not speak to him, so his equations should not be taught in college?

    What about personal discipline and self control? Should a fat person be allowed to hold office if she can't even control what she puts in her mouth? I think not.

    August 7, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  10. vet in texas

    Insurgents never asked what party or race you were before they pressed their detonators......stop allowing highly paid entertainers who are receiving financial backing by the theives in the board rooms to push your buttons and pit us against each other! Call your favorite talk radio person and ask them repeatedly how much money are they getting for stirring up the pot. They are all cowards looking back and laughing at you. Stop the madness, do your own research, put aside the natural fears you have, and then make a decision. We are all the same except for the people who we elect, they care nothing about us unless your putting something in their pocket. Ask the citizens (white and black) who were affected by Katrina and they will tell you the same! Essayons (Let us try) America

    August 7, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  11. Republicans is smart in the head area

    This is Obama's fault! I mean, why not? Everything else is according to the Republicans...

    August 7, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  12. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    Good for you Jenny. I lost a little respect for you when you said you would take that skank of a man back. Word to the wise...once a cheater always a cheater.

    It is time for you to move on to something much better for you and your sons.

    August 7, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  13. rick

    More evidence that the Church Age has come to an end .

    August 7, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  14. David

    Mark Sandford only did to his wife, what the GOP/Republicans have been doing to the American people for the past 8 years.

    1. Make a commitment in public

    2. Behind closed doors, do the exact opposite.

    Now his wife is doing to Mark Sandford, what Americans are doing with the GOP/Republicans.

    1. Reject them and move on with their lives with people they can trust.

    So now it's time for Mark to pay his supporters harass his wife and children, and disrupt their peaceful lives.

    Hell hath no fury like a Republican Rejected.

    August 7, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  15. Lynne

    Finally a Republican wife who has the guts to stand up to the ego invested louse. Note, she's not the average bleached-blonde Republican bimbo who stands by her man (?) no matter what.

    August 7, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  16. Cally

    Republican women have to be absolutely miserable. Can you imagine what their home lives are like? (Shutter).

    August 7, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  17. CJ Smith

    Jenny, what courage you have. You seem very determined to get out of that house to a more restful and private environment. I applaud you so much for that so your children can have a seemingly happy life. I just hope and pray you can recover from the mess, disgrace and humiliation your husband made against you, your boys, and the State of SC. I hope you also find a "true" man (and there aresome out there) that will sweep you off your feet. What goes around comes around. I hope you find your soul mate. You deserve one that will treat you and your boys with respect. God bless you in your own efforts to recover from all of this. I personally would not be so tolerant.

    August 7, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  18. Hawaii gal

    It's about time she left her loser husband. Mark Sanford embarassed his wife, over and over, in public by saying he was "trying to fall back in love with his wife" and that his Argentine lover was his "soul mate". He does not deserve Jenny, who has acted with class throught this whole ordeal. I am glad she said "enough is enough". Now if the people South Carolina would just demand that Sanford is thrown out of office because he disappeared for days on end and lied about his whereabouts, justice would be complete. Mark Sanford is a hypocritical jerk.

    August 7, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  19. chicago4obama

    I apologize to all the good Demo's in the South

    August 7, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  20. m smith

    At least she has good health care for her and the boys

    August 7, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  21. Young at heart

    Since you're moving out of the house you shared with your husband, maybe you might like a date for this Saturday evening as well ? Separated women are fair game, am I right ?

    August 7, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  22. Mary

    I feel so sorry for the boys and for his wife. It is nothing new for s husand to be unfaithful to a faithful wife more o in the political world it seems but none the less it has to be very difficult for the children. my prayes are with them and I sincerely hope that the lives of the children and of her are or will be full of good things to come.

    August 7, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  23. Todd (not the Alaska Separatist)

    Any more dim-witted Repugs out there that buy into the whole "family values" song and dance while the real reason for their job is to cut breaks for their rich campaign contributors? Y'all are so gullible. What saps, what more-roons you Repugs are. Say "crony capitalism". Can you say "crony capitalism". I knew you could.

    Seems like Jenny Sanford has had enough her husband's "family values" routine and doing what is necessary to protect herself and her children.

    August 7, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  24. arnie

    You go Girl! Good for you. The entire Republican party = liars + Hypocrites. And I am not a Democrat so don't come at me with that liberal crap.

    August 7, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  25. eddie

    Why does no one talk about the role of "The Family" in all of this? That pseudo- Christian cult that Sandford is a part of? They claim to be God's chosen people, and so are above the rules of others. This is why Sandford voted to impeach Clinton, yet refuses to resign after the same act. This shadow organization also claims Sen. Ensign as a chosen one. It's more than creepy, it's downright scary. I call on the media to grow a set, and report on the influence of this cult on our elected officials!!!

    August 7, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
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