June 22nd, 2009
10:44 PM ET
13 years ago

Sanford hiking Appalachian Trail, his office says

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/06/art.sanfordcu0406.gi.jpg caption="South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford mysteriously disappeared last Thursday."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Mark Sanford's office is now saying that the South Carolina governor is hiking the Appalachian trail.

In a late Monday e-mail to reporters, Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer apologized "for taking so long to send this update," explaining that he "was waiting to see if a more definitive idea of what part of the Trail he was on before we did so."

The Appalachian trail stretches from Georgia to Maine.

Sanford has been mysteriously absent for four days, setting the South Carolina political world abuzz with chatter about why he left and where he went. Even his wife Jenny told reporters she didn't know of his location.

State Sen. Jake Knotts, a fellow Republican and opponent of Sanford, told CNN that South Carolina law enforcement officials informed him Saturday that the governor had taken a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division SUV last Thursday and had not yet returned.

"I found out that he was taking frequent trips at odd times of the night in a SLED car with no security," Knotts said. "He would be driving. I got wind that he had taken another one of these types of capers last Thursday, and that nobody knew who he was with."

Knotts said a SLED official told him on Monday that Sanford still had not returned.

Sawyer stressed that Sanford's wife and staff are not concerned about the governor.

"As we said earlier today, it isn't unusual for the governor to be out of pocket for several days after the legislative session," he said. "We knew he would be difficult to reach, and that he would be checking in infrequently. Given the media attention this has generated, we'll obviously update you once we have some more specifics to pass along."

Filed under: Extra • Mark Sanford
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. ar

    Why are we taking the word of a Sanford staffer on all of this? Sanford has been gone for about a week. Nobody knows where he really is & nobody other than the staffer has spoken to him. This is a security issue. Where is the governor of SC?

    June 23, 2009 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  2. Vtercell


    In other news, I'll bet Obama would be more supportive of the Iranian people if they just had a higher abortion rate.

    After all, there's important stuff and then there's really important stuff.

    June 23, 2009 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  3. Flagship, NC

    What the heck is going on here? Nothing makes sense!
    His wife is not concerned, when she does not know were he is after 4 days?

    June 23, 2009 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  4. Frank

    It would seem that the Governor is suffering from depression and inoculating actives from others. The Governor should seek professional help and if the People of the Great State of South Carolina are that much concern about his behavior the People should ask the State Legislators to remove him.

    June 23, 2009 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  5. therealmarie

    Silly explanation. Not credible.

    June 23, 2009 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  6. Sherry

    I would think the people of SC, would question a Governor who just disappeared for days without anyone knowing his whereabouts, especially his wife and security people. Wouldn't it be illegal for him to just "take" the SLED vehicle and disappear? He doesn't seem to be very responsible or reliable. Of course since he took the SLED for personal use, he will be honest and pay for the wear and tear, etc. out of his own pocket, right? He is just as wacko as Blagojevich in Illinois.

    June 23, 2009 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  7. good, glad he is ok

    but I still wish the GOP would take a hike

    June 23, 2009 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  8. maripil

    The governor of South Carolina is AWOL!! This is an unacceptable actions from someone with the responsibility of looking after the state of SC. He should be replaced and kicked out of office. A total disgrace coming from a governor at that!!

    June 23, 2009 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  9. Jen in Mass

    FWIW, I am a Democrat and he is a Republican. It's not about politics, it's about the stupidity of hysteria. For heaven's sake, this is a lot of different people posturing over nothing much.Transfer powers before going for a lengthy walk? Please! Anyway, I bet his cell is location-aware, or that he has a GPS, in real case of emergency.

    Reminds me of the histrionic idiot in that Duracell battery commercial who goes off the deep end when her precious *8-year-old* wanders out of super-mommy's eagle-eye field of view for half a second despite his being fitted with a spy-quality transponder, without which, ostensibly, Mama would have permanently lost him in the town park.

    Get a grip SC politicos, he went for a walk. Would that everyone were so healthy!

    June 23, 2009 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  10. Allen

    This has to be the most productive thing this joke of a governor has ever done. I'm sure this is what SC citizens had in mind when they voted for him.

    June 23, 2009 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  11. xavier

    So the man decided to go hicking rather than spending father's day with his children during their formative years? What a selfish piece of work this man is.

    June 23, 2009 03:13 am at 3:13 am |
  12. D. Tree

    Gov. Stanford was acting erratic before he disappeared into the mountains, when he tried to refuse funding for South Carolina's suffering schools.

    The Gov. needs to stay off the moonshine!

    June 23, 2009 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  13. Vic

    Good lord, is this guy a tool or what. They say at first he's writing something and now he's hiking the Appalachian trail. What's next, he's target practicing with Dick Cheney.

    June 23, 2009 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
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