August 25th, 2012
08:17 PM ET
2 years ago

Exclusive CNN Photos: Sanford engaged to Argentinean girlfriend

Tampa, Florida (CNN) - Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is engaged to his longtime Argentinean girlfriend, Maria Belen Chapur.

A source close to Sanford provided pictures of the couple, along with a statement from the former governor, to CNN exclusively.

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"Yes, we are engaged, and I’m both happy and excited for what that means,” Sanford said in the statement. “I have long expressed my feelings for her, she’s a wonderful person. My closest friends have met and love her, and I look forward to introducing her to still many more that have yet to do so."

News of Sanford's proposal was first reported by Clarin, a newspaper in Argentina.

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Filed under: Gov. Mark Sanford • Mark Sanford • South Carolina
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Is he speaking at the convention ?

    I hope they have there honeymoon on the Appalachian trail .

    August 25, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  2. NameFrank

    Good for the two of them.

    August 25, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  3. Albert

    Well I have to say.. Uh.. This is somewhat understandable now. Not excusing.. Just saying.

    August 25, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  4. Squigman

    Good. It matters not what party he belongs to. He followed his heart. If nothing else, he deserves respect for doing so.

    August 25, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  5. timz

    Someone please explain again how the GOP is the party of "family values."

    August 25, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  6. Franky

    GOP at it's finest, family values!!!!

    August 25, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  7. nuser

    With all due respect , why are you reporting this matter? Governor Sanford was extremely derelict in his duties and
    should have stepped down , but did not. For Shame!

    August 25, 2012 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  8. Mike

    Another example of Republican "family values"!

    August 25, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  9. Dilly

    So is he going to be at the GOP convention as well?? Bring on the clowns!

    August 25, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  10. Vic of New York

    Yep. Mark Sanford, Conservative poster child and VP hopeful, having had a fling with a Argentine hussy who is soon to become the next "Mrs Sanford". Way to go Christian Conservatives. Hey, maybe you should legislate it to be illegal to divorce. You know – protect the sanctity of marriage and the yet to be conceived child.

    Ba Humbug! Republicans and Conservatives are just full of CRAP ! ! !

    August 25, 2012 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  11. Old Redneck

    And another example of how Republicans celebrate the "sanctity of marriage."

    August 25, 2012 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  12. Spock500

    A Republican? Whatever happened to the party of "family values"? I wonder what those self-righteous and judgmental South Carolinians think of their hero, now?

    August 25, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  13. Nuance

    Just another episode from the reality show "The party of family values"....lmao.

    August 25, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  14. Wilt Chamberlain

    We could all learn something from Sanford.

    August 25, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  15. marty

    And if Sanford wasn't caught lying he'd still be 'hiking' and cheating on his family. Republican values, anyone?

    August 25, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  16. scmaize

    She's a very attractive woman. I didn't think he was a good governor (remember when he was a likely presidential candidate?), and he obviously wasn't much of a husband the first time around. I think his first wife has gotten on with her life, and perhaps he will find happiness, too.

    August 25, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  17. Chae

    Good for him.

    August 25, 2012 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  18. Scott

    Awesome news! A rough road, to be sure, but those of us who have also been married to cold, emotionless women who don't get it are excited to see it work out when you do find your soulmate!

    August 25, 2012 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  19. Pam

    She better hope he doesn't tell her he's going hiking the Appalachin Trail and then disappear for a while!

    August 25, 2012 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  20. tenacious one

    Best wishes to both Sanford and Chapur! When I first heard about Sanford's escapades I was disappointed in him politically, however... truth be told this is simply a "love" story. Sometimes the first time around is NOT the right time around. Sometimes a pretty home, with a nicely dressed "stepford wife" and a white picket fence is NOT all it's chalked up to be. Truth be told is that some men/women realize that the first time was a "mistake" and upon meeting the likes of a Chapur their eyes are opened to the reality that there is something more, something greater.... In the end, I actually respect that Sanford stood by his true feelings and stuck with a woman who clearly inspires everything in him! I'm certain that it took great strength for him and Chapur to continue their relationship with so many vocally against them. That being said, I only have positive, genuine and congratulatory messages to send their way. Congratulations again!!

    August 26, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  21. Linda

    What about the marriage vows you took with the first wife?

    August 26, 2012 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  22. TheMovieFan

    Family values.

    August 26, 2012 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  23. fp

    so, is he still a christian?

    August 26, 2012 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  24. jewel

    I wonder if she is worth losing his family. Well, at least he has his friends.

    August 26, 2012 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  25. Former Republican, now an Independent

    I hope he is a better husband than a governor. He always put politics above the people of South Carolina, but that has become the characteristic of the modern day republican party.

    August 26, 2012 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
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