Barbour takes over RGA after Sanford resigns

The Mississippi governor and former Republican National Committee chair will step into Mark Sanford's shoes

By Alex Koppelman
June 24, 2009 11:35PM (UTC)
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With South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford having admitted to an affair and resigned from his chairmanship of the Republican Governor's Association during his Wednesday press conference, there was a void at the top of the RGA. It didn't last long -- less than an hour after Sanford began speaking to reporters, the RGA sent out a press release announcing Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour as the new chairman.

Included in the release were statements from Barbour, who also used to head the Republican National Committee, and RGA Executive Director Nick Ayers. Both statements are reprinted in full below.



The news revealed today hurts all of us who have gotten to know Governor Sanford over the years and so it is with regret that the RGA accepted Governor Sanford’s resignation as chairman.

While this news is deeply disappointing, I also know it’s important to remain focused on the future and Governor Sanford’s resignation allows him and us to do just that.

The RGA has an important task over the next two years. I am committed to seeing it through and confident we will succeed.


My job allows me to share the joys of getting to know great leaders around the country and experiencing great pride when they succeed, but the other side of that is experiencing deep disappointment when they fall short. Today is undeniably a disappointing day.

While I am personally disappointed in today’s revelation, I also know that it’s important for both Governor Sanford and the RGA to move forward as quickly as possible. Therefore we accepted his resignation this afternoon.

However, the RGA is fortunate that Governor Haley Barbour was in line to become RGA Chairman, a position he assumed today. As a former RNC chairman and one of the best governors in the country, no one is better positioned to takeover as RGA chairman than Governor Barbour.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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