- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 26, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford said Wednesday that he appreciates the lieutenant governor’s offer to take over, but he plans to stay in office.

Mr. Sanford said that Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer’s call hours earlier for him to resign was almost like “heaven on earth.” Mr. Sanford’s June admission to an affair with an Argentine woman has led to questions about the legality of his travel on state and commercial planes.

But he said the people of South Carolina want to move past the scandals. He also said he will not be railroaded out of office and thinks he can still do important things for South Carolina in the last 16 months of his term.

Mr. Bauer said that if Mr. Sanford steps down, he will renew his offer to stay out of the 2010 gubernatorial race. Mr. Sanford’s term ends in January 2011.

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