Earlier this summer, the South Carolina Republican Party’s executive committee held a meeting to decide what to do about their party comrade, Gov. Mark Sanford. At the time, Sanford got off with a slap on the wrist — a censure. On Thursday, he wasn’t quite so lucky.
Adding to Sanford’s long list of woes right now — both the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the state House have called for his resignation — two-thirds of the executive committee voted in a conference call Thursday afternoon to ask the governor to step down.
CNN’s Peter Hamby notes that this is a particularly tough blow for Sanford; he’d always fought with other South Carolina lawmakers, even fellow Republicans, so losing their support didn’t hurt so bad. But these are party activists, long Sanford’s base, and they’d been sticking by him. Not anymore.
Still, if he hasn’t resigned yet, Sanford isn’t likely to do so now. In fact, earlier in the day he’d held a contentious press conference at which he declared his intention to remain in office. And in a statement after the vote, he said, “South Carolinians are ready to move beyond this political circus and media-driven distraction.”