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US governor rebuffs deputy's call for him to quit

 South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer says embattled Gov. Mark Sanford needs to resign rather than risking impeachment, during a news conference in Col...
 Andre Bauer, Lt. Gov. of South Carolina asks S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford to resign at a news conference at the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C. Wednesday, Aug...
 S.C. Gov.Mark Sanford announces that he will not resign at a news conference in Columbia, S.C. Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Virginia Postic)

SC GOVERNOR

South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer says embattled Gov. Mark Sanford needs to resign rather than risking impeachment, during a news conference in Col...

SC Governor

Andre Bauer, Lt. Gov. of South Carolina asks S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford to resign at a news conference at the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C. Wednesday, Aug...

SC GOVERNOR

S.C. Gov.Mark Sanford announces that he will not resign at a news conference in Columbia, S.C. Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Virginia Postic)

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford rebuffed his lieutenant governor's call to resign Wednesday, saying he will not be "railroaded" out of office and plans to finish the last 16 months of his term.
Sanford returned from a nearly weeklong disappearance in June to admit an affair with an Argentine woman, a revelation that led to questions about the legality of his travel on state, private and commercial planes.
At a news conference hours after Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer called for him to step down, Sanford said the people of South Carolina want to move past the scandals.
"I'm not going to be railroaded out of this office by political opponents or folks who were never fans of mine in the first place," Sanford said. "A lot of what is going on now is pure politics, plain and simple."
Bauer and Sanford are Republicans who have served together for two terms but were elected separately and have never been friends.
Some Republicans have been reluctant to seek Sanford's resignation or impeachment because they do not want to give Bauer what would amount to a long-term tryout for the job. If Sanford steps down before his term ends in January 2011, Bauer said he will promise not to run in 2010 so that is not an issue. Bauer considered making the same offer in June but never officially did.
"The serious misconduct that has been revealed along with lingering questions and continuing distractions make it virtually impossible for our state to solve the critical problems we're facing without a change in leadership," he said Wednesday.
House Republicans are expected to discuss this week what it would take to impeach Sanford. The House is expected to launch impeachment proceedings when lawmakers return for their regular session in January, though they could also hold a special session before then. Any House member can make the proposal.
Bauer said he worries calls for Sanford's impeachment will dominate next year's legislative session instead of issues like the economy and job creation.
Bauer said he will go ahead with his candidacy if Sanford does not resign or lawmakers do not return to Columbia to force him out within 30 days. Term limits prevent Sanford from running for a third term.
Sanford has come under scrutiny since he returned from a nearly weeklong disappearance in June to admit he had been in Argentina visiting his mistress. He led his staff to believe he was hiking the Appalachian Trail.
The governor told The Associated Press his mistress was his soul mate. He acknowledged visiting her in Argentina during a 2008 trade mission planned by the state's Commerce Department and, after the publicity in June, reimbursed the state $3,300 for part of the trip.
His wife has moved out of the governor's mansion with the couple's four sons but says she and her husband are working on their marriage.
An AP investigation in July showed the governor took pricey flights on commercial airlines for overseas trips despite a law requiring state employees to use lowest-cost travel. A state senator investigating those flights has said six of them broke the law and the state attorney general has called for an ethics probe.
Sanford says he looks forward to the ethics investigation and said his administration should be looked at in comparison with others. He left the news conference without answering questions.


Updated : 2021-07-31 03:45 GMT+08:00