State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, D-Camden, called Tuesday for Gov. Mark Sanford to resign.
Sheheen, who is a Democratic candidate for governor in 2010, is among the first of nearly a dozen Democratic and Republican 2010 hopefuls to come out and call for Sanford to quit, brought on by revelations last week of an extramarital affair.
“I sincerely regret the necessity of addressing these issues, but it is an obligation that cannot be shirked by those of us who lead our state,” said Sheheen, who is the father of three sons.
“In recent days, there have been numerous calls for a full investigation into the details of the Sanford situation, but crucial facts have already come to light,” Sheheen said in a released statement. “Sanford misled his staff and the public as to his whereabouts; he used a taxpayer-funded mission to Argentina for his personal behavior, and he failed to inform anyone that he was leaving the country.”
Sheheen’s statement came just minutes after The Associated Press released a story in which Sanford admitted to meeting his Argentine mistress more often than previously acknowledged, including twice in New York City, the first meetings in the United States Sanford have disclosed.
South Carolina’s gubernatorial candidates have basically been mum on what Sanford’s fate should be, though many of them have condemned his actions.
Sheheen broke that silence.
“Every elected official holds a public trust,” the Sheheen statement continued. “The governor’s actions constitute a serious breach of that trust. If Governor Sanford were an employee in the private sector, I have no doubt he would have been fired by now.
“If he were a cabinet head working for this very governor, he would have been forced to resign already,” Sheheen said.