June 22nd, 2009
09:25 PM ET
9 years ago

South Carolina governor goes missing

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/11/art.sanfordpt0311.gi.jpg caption="South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has mysteriously stepped out of the public eye."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - After a bruising session with the state legislature, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has mysteriously stepped out of the public eye.

Even his wife, Jenny, said Monday that she didn’t know where the governor was, according to the Associated Press. But Sanford's office expressed no concern Monday afternoon about his absence.

Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer said Sanford “put in a lot of time during this last legislative session, and after the session winds down it's not uncommon for him to go out of pocket for a few days at a time to clear his head.”

However, Sawyer added in a statement sent to CNN: “Obviously, that's going to be somewhat out of the question this time given the attention this particular absence has gotten. Before leaving last week, he let staff know his whereabouts and that he'd be difficult to reach. Should any emergencies arise between the times in which he checks in, our staff would obviously be in contact with other state officials as the situation warrants before making any decisions.”

Earlier in the day, Sawyer said Sanford had simply taken some time away from work to “recharge after the stimulus battle.” Sawyer did not address Jenny Sanford’s comments to the AP in either statement.

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 vehicle on 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 added: "On Saturday, I still was getting wind that he had not shown back up and nobody knew where he was."

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

"He needs to transfer the power and let the lieutenant governor, which the constitution requires, let him be the person that makes the decisions." Knotts said. "My concern was 'Who would be in charge should an emergency arrive for the safety of the people and citizens of the state?'"

State Senate Minority Leader John Land, a Democrat, accused Sanford of engaging in "erratic" behavior.

"We've been concerned by the governor's erratic behavior for some time," Land said in a prepared statement. "We're praying for him and his family. I hope he is safe and that he contacts the First Lady and his family soon."

Filed under: Mark Sanford • South Carolina
soundoff (193 Responses)
  1. chris

    just so you are all aware, you know nothing happened to him, right? Seriously, its called a vacation.

    June 22, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Don't they Lojack these things?

    I hope he has the courtesy to pay for the gas.

    June 22, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  3. Edwin

    Vinyl Villiager: He doesn't travel with security/entorage in order to save the state money.

    June 22, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  4. AC

    Rush probably has a candle lit for him.

    Come back little buddy, come back!!!!

    June 22, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  5. Jim

    I don't know why I need to Moderate my comment with seeing checking bathroom stalls being let through?

    June 22, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  6. Frank Sellers

    "Liberal" media, Wylie H.? CNN is certainly a puppet of right-wing fascists. Just ask Lou Dobbs.

    June 22, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    @ Jerry, who said "Sensationalism has no place in the main stream media."

    WHAT ARE YOU SMOKING AND WHERE CAN I GET SOME? Seriously dude...sensationalism DEFINES the main stream media.

    June 22, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  8. Mitch

    The scary part is that he wants to be president...does this mean when the going gets tough, he disappears? Not exactly leadership material here.

    June 22, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  9. MOR

    Lord I'm a college student at francis marion in SC..SC needs a new governor! I hope Mark is safe and his kids and wife are ok. We keep them in our prayers.

    Mark Robinson

    June 22, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  10. angel

    is it for 8 years?

    June 22, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  11. DJ

    I heard Larry Craig was spotted in South Carolina this weekend....

    June 22, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  12. BO can not be trusted

    I heard the Obama thugs & czars were coercing Sanford into taking Fed money. Maybe the SC legislature should contact the Obama administration to track him down.

    June 22, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  13. JSRagman

    To Mick. You're a genius. Maybe Pres. Obama should start another war and try to spread democracy like our recent Clown president.

    June 22, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  14. JR

    Maybe he's at Palin's house looking for Russia.

    June 22, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  15. George Washington

    Firstly we hope that he is okay. However on to the goofiness of CNN, why don't they spend more time on their Congress Tax Forms(if they actually paid any) and missing Governors(if they actually are missing and not on vacation), than they do meddling in other countries Elections? (especially when they really can't run their own elections right). ??

    June 22, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  16. Carole

    Hope nothing happened to him. But, if there is nothing wrong I think this is very irresponsible of him to not tell the Lieutenant Gov. I know, I know Rethugs don't really talk to their wives like Newt and Ensign.

    Feel bad for his kids......seems odd. I think Rehab.

    June 22, 2009 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  17. Polly

    This is not right.

    June 22, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  18. DeeTee

    Maybe he's been smote by God!

    Or worse, Obama had him picked up and taken to a secret location where he's being, uh...reprogrammed to run the state of SC like it should be run.

    June 22, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  19. Polly

    He's in trouble. Call it what you want. No, we don't want him to be President. He will skip out on us. He won't be there to take the 3:00 am call.

    June 22, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  20. Rock Hill

    South Carolina has a long history of companies building towns and using the local government to control building permits in order to keep out competition. That way they can set their own wage rates, keep out unions and control education.

    Today we have standardized education but we still have low wages, no unions and a lot of poor people.

    Mark is nothing but a corporate stooge that worked very hard to keep out the stimulus money to continue a long tradition.

    He’s probably at bohemia grove getting his reward.

    June 22, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  21. Bill in Ct.

    He's ok, just like a Republican, when the going gets tough leave the mess to same one else. CNN, ABC and FOX NEWS are nothing more than talking points for the Republicans. Just look at all the negative things they broadcast all day. You turn to CNN, you hear those same talking points you hear on FOX.

    June 22, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  22. virginia for obama

    @ Dave in Savannah! That is soooooooo funny!!!

    June 22, 2009 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  23. virginia for obama

    Hey Dave!!!!! I see we can add "Matt" to the crazy list also. Peace out!!

    June 22, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  24. Kevin in Ohio

    No doubt he has been threatened by left-wing thugs.

    June 22, 2009 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  25. George Washington

    Another Palin Nut !

    June 22, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
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