In a stunning and emotional news conference today, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford admitted having an affair with another woman. Sanford disappeared from the state last week, not telling his wife and family where he was going, and telling his staff he might take a hike on the Appalachian Trail.
Instead, he was in Argentina, where the woman lives.
Sanford said he met the woman eight years ago: "I developed a relationship with what started out as a dear, dear friend in Argentina. It began very innocently... emails back and forth. Over the last year it developed into something much more than that."
Sanford said he has seen the woman three times since the affair began a year ago. He said his wife has known about the relationship for the past five months, and that they are attempting to work things out. Sanford apologized to her, as well as their four sons, and asked for their forgiveness.
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The Republican governor, who has been mentioned as a possible 2012 GOP presidential candidate, choked up several times when talking about old and trusted friends. He said he let them, and the people of South Carolina, down.
Sanford said he would resign as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association. As he was walking away from the podium, reporters asked if he would resign as governor of South Carolina. That is a question that is expected to linger as this developing story unfolds.