September 9th, 2009
02:37 PM ET
5 years ago

S.C. House Republicans tell Sanford to resign

Mark Sanford called the letter 'unpersuasive and unsurprising.'
Mark Sanford called the letter 'unpersuasive and unsurprising.'

(CNN) – An overwhelming majority of Republicans in the South Carolina House of Representatives called on Gov. Mark Sanford to resign Wednesday, saying in a letter hand-delivered to his office that the governor's actions "have been destructive to our state's image on a worldwide stage."

Sixty of 72 Republicans endorsed the letter that was signed by House Majority Leader Kenny Bingham on behalf of House GOP leadership.

The letter has been in the works ever since House Republicans met in Myrtle Beach last month during their annual retreat. At that meeting, not a single member of the GOP caucus spoke in support of Sanford and at least one legislator provided an outline of possible impeachment charges against the governor.

"The general sense of the Caucus is that the people of South Carolina have suffered enough as a result of your recent actions and the current allegations against you," the members wrote to the governor, referring to his disappearance from the state in June and subsequent investigations into his travel expenses.

The 60 members calling for the governor's resignation include a coalition of Sanford critics and allies, along with several legislators who would play key roles in the impeachment process if the House decides to try to remove the governor when the legislative session begins in January.

The letter was delivered one day after House Speaker Bobby Harrell broke his months-long silence and publicly called on the governor to step aside, making him the second-highest ranking elected official in the South Carolina to do so.

Despite the growing resignation drumbeat, it's unlikely that the letter from House members will do much to change Sanford's mind.

"The reality is King Herod's heart is hardened and Mark Sanford is not going to change his mind," one well-connected South Carolina GOP strategist said of Sanford's thinking.

The governor's office called Wednesday's letter "both unpersuasive and unsurprising" and pointed out that many of his longtime critics signed onto the letter, even though several allies - including Rep. Nathan Ballentine - added their names to the note.

"What this letter does provide is further evidence of a disconnect between the people of this state who want to move forward and many politicians in Columbia who see the current situation as a way to achieve political payback," Sanford's spokesman Ben Fox said in a statement.

Among the GOP House members not signing onto the letter: state Rep. Nikki Haley, an ideological ally of Sanford's who is running for governor in 2010.

Haley said in a statement that she decided not to support the letter because the governor has already made clear he will not step aside and any efforts to encourage him to do so amount to little more than political posturing.


Filed under: Mark Sanford • South Carolina
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. Jeannie

    All 60 of those GOP should call themselves RINOs. Conservative values? You don't step on your own when they are down, you help them get up. Sanford should not resign and all those allegations against him are not impeachable offenses. He knows it and so do the rest – which is why they are ganging up on him. In the long run, Sanford has NOTHING to lose, but these 60 people do. People in South Carolina should be able to look at the history of Sanford's administration and realize how much he has done for the state – overall.

    September 9, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. FED UP in SC

    I pray for Mark Sanford, I really do. How can he have the audacity to say that he cares for the citizens and our well being when he doesn’t even care about the ones closet to him, the family in his home. To me it’s not even about the personal matters because honestly it is between him and his wife and for them to work out. But what I can’t understand is why he refused to take stimulus money knowing what he was doing behind our backs and then for him not to resign after everyone has asked for him to just to spend more tax dollars just to go through an impeachment process. He has ran our state in the ground so bad that we were in a recession long before the rest of the world. Mr. Sanford you don’t know me from a can of paint, but I am a citizen right here in Columbia, SC I lived the mess you have made for us here, please do us all a favor and just go.

    September 9, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. JILL

    Everybody as told and ask him to resign. He has no intention, and besides, who's gonna make him? Get real this wacko is here to stay, afterall he is a Republican and that in itself makes him royalty...just ask him.

    September 9, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  4. Zane

    Yeah, and who's gonna make him? He's a Republican wacko!!

    September 9, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. Ashamed in SC

    This is just a battlecry warm up... they know selfish insane Sanford would never resign but this is called protocol and it has its purpose.

    Only a fool or dozen of them wouldn't sign it, like Rep. Nikki Haley who enjoyed a pow-wow trip to China with Luv Guv. She is on record as saying she doesn't know whether she flew first class or coach. Hmmm, inquiring minds can conjure up a lot about these little facts tying together.

    No worries, an intervention is coming soon enough. It only takes a few loved ones in our state to come together and file for an involuntary committal. Either than, or we are facing a horrifying Bud Dwyer ending and we above all sincerely pray that is not the case.

    September 9, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. Keith

    How has this fool stayed in office this long anyway. Those dumb ass Republicans should have done this months ago

    September 9, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  7. That's what she said

    Get off his back.

    September 9, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  8. No Hillary = No Obama

    What's it going to take for this guy to get a clue?

    September 9, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  9. kd

    Citizens should work to remove ALL of the C-Street people from office. They are incredibly dangerous to the welfare of the country. They fundamentally believe that they are chosen by God to be leaders mostly because they are wealthy and that little people mean nothing. That kind of ego is beyond dangerous.

    September 9, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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