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Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail

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At a news conference in Columbia, S.C., Gov.

Mark Sanford has now admitted that he had an extramarital affair with someone in Argentina, as he attempted to explain his mysterious disappearance from the state last week.He said he had developed a relationship with someone in Argentina during the past year.


Sanford returned from Buenos Aires this morning, after leaving the state capital last Thursday.

His whereabouts had become a source of nearly national speculation, with aides first saying they didn't know where he was, then saying he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail but unreachable.It wasn't until this morning that Mr.

Sanford's real location became known when a reporter for The State confronted him as he returned via the Atlanta airport.


Sanford also said he would resign from his position as head of the Republican Governors Association.

As for his wife Jenny, he said they had been working through this for the last five months.

He and his wife have four boys.

"I hurt her.

I hurt you all.

I hurt my wife.

I hurt my boys," he said, and asked forgiveness from everyone.

As for the affair, Mr.

Sanford said the two had met innocently — he used that word more than once, and then about a year ago, the casual acquaintance evolved into something more.

The news conference began rather oddly, with Mr.

Sanford rambling about his love for the Appalachian trail, his exhaustion from a legislative battle over the federal stimulus and a need to get away from the public eye.

But he then began issuing apologies to family, his staff and friends like Tom Davis, as well as to all people of faith for his sins.

It then began to become apparent that Mr.

Sanford was about to disclose something rather personal.


Sanford is the second politician within about a week to divulge an extramarital affair.

Last week, Senator John Ensign, Republican of Nevada, disclosed that he had had a relationship with someone who worked on his campaign staff.

In this instance, several Republican rivals and Democrats had complained loudly that Mr.

Sanford had been irresponsible given his disappearance from the state — without notice of communication about his whereabouts.

He took the blame today, saying that he had not intended for his staff to be put in the middle, and appeared a bit emotional as he continued to make apologies.

The governor had been considered a rising star among conservatives, but this bizarre turn of events has changed his prospects, at least for the time being.

At the end of the news conference, a reporter asked whether he would resign from his post as governor.

The question went unanswered as Mr.

Sanford walked away from the lectern.
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