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Andre Bauer

Andre Bauer

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Mark Sanford 's stunning revelation of his affair with an Argentinian woman shook up South Carolina's political establishment and left insiders wondering whether the Republicans would be better off if he remained governor or quit his post.South Carolina Democratic Party Executive Director Jay Parmley said Democrats weren't calling for Sanford's resignation at this time.

"I think it's going to take some time for all this to set in," Parmley said after the governor's announcement Wednesday.Sanford indicated that he intended to serve out his term in office.

First elected in 2002, Sanford was prevented by a state term limit from running again in 2010.

If he were to resign, Lt.


Andre Bauer would succeed Sanford, gaining a leg up in what could be a crowded race next year.Bauer, a rival of Sanford's, had been critical of the governor's seven-day disappearance.

Sanford left town last week without telling anyone, including Bauer, where he was going.

The state finally learned the whereabouts of the governor on Wednesday; he had been in Argentina.Those in South Carolina's Republican establishment tended to choose measured responses to the governor's bombshell, issuing statements supportive of his family while avoiding the question of resignation."Conservative leaders have earned and kept the trust of South Carolina's majority for many years, and I will make every effort to ensure our party keeps that trust," South Carolina Republican Party Chairwoman Karen Floyd said in a press release.

Two Republican gubernatorial candidates, U.S.


Gresham Barrett and state Rep.

Nikki Haley, also released carefully worded statements, while Bauer used the Twitter networking site to ask that "all South Carolinians ...

pray for the Sanford family."Unlike much of the rest of the state party, Haley has aligned herself with Sanford and his fiscally conservative agenda.

On Wednesday, she tried to parse the governor's policies from his personal travails.

She said she and Sanford shared the priority of "treating taxpayer dollars responsibly and changing the structure of state government so it is accountable to taxpayers." However, Haley said she is also working to promote trust in government.

"Obviously, the governor has fallen far short in that regard and that is extremely unfortunate," she said.

Parmley said Sanford's infidelity was unlikely to become fodder for Democrats in 2010.
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