One day after Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC) held a press conference in which he admitted to having an affair with a woman from Argentina, 50% of registered voters in South Carolina said they wanted him to resign.
Now, nearly one week and many more affair confessions later, the calls for his resignation from elected officials are piling up. Today, 14 of the 27 state GOP senators are asking him to step down. That number has already grown from last night, when six senators took the step of signing a letter calling for Sanford’s resignation. This group includes Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler and “five of [Sanford’s] dozen closest allies,” according to local Columbia TV station WLTX.
State Senator Jake Knotts, who initially called the State Law Enforcement Division two days after Sanford left for Argentina to find out his whereabouts, has also called for the governor to leave office.
See other sources of pressure calling for Sanford’s resignation after the jump:*Karen Floyd, South Carolina Republican Party Chairwoman
*Glenn McCall, a county party chairman and one of two representatives from South Carolina to the Republican National Committee
*Vincent Sheheen, State Sen. from Camden and Democratic candidate for governor in 2010
*The Greenville News, one of the state’s largest newspapers, ran an editorial yesterday saying Sanford has “acted like a heart-sick school boy, and he’s revealed facts that clearly demonstrate he is capable of exceptional deception, arrogance and narcissism.” (The State, the largest SC paper and the one that has doggedly followed his affair and published intimate emails between Sanford and his Argentine mistress, has said that he should remain in office.)
Interestingly enough, the man who would replace Sanford, Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer, has thus far not urged the governor to resign.
The U.S. Senators for South Carolina, Republicans Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham, have also not openly supported this movement. DeMint, appearing this morning on Fox and Friends, said Sanford has “dropped the flag” and “a lot of us are talking to him behind the scenes in hopes that he’ll make the right decision about what needs to be done.”
Graham, reportedly godfather to Sanford’s children, said on Meet the Press on Sunday that “if Mark can reconcile with Jenny…then he can finish his last 18 months (as governor). I do believe that if he can reconcile with his family, if he’s willing to try, that the people of South Carolina would be willing to give him a second chance.”
Whether or not Jenny Sanford feels the same way remains to be seen, especially in light of the governor’s new revelations: “I will be able to die knowing that I had met my soul mate.” (TPM Managing Editor David Kurtz: He’s not talking about his wife.)
Late Update: Jonathan Martin of Politico reports that Sens. DeMint and Graham, as well as Republican Rep. Gresham Barrett, called Sanford today to have “frank conversations about the governor’s ability to carry out his job.” While some Republican sources who spoke to Sanford were “hesitant” to say whether the calls discussed resignation, another source said “his support has collapsed.”