Speaker of S.C. House calls for Sanford resignation

More trouble for the governor of South Carolina, as a leader in his party asks him to step down

Published September 8, 2009 7:55PM (EDT)

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has very few allies left, even in his own party. In fact, it's been leading Republicans who've done the most political damage to their state's governor lately. First, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer called for his boss to resign, and sweetened the deal by saying if he took over the job in that situation, he wouldn't run for a full term in 2010.

Now, Bobby Harrell, the speaker of South Carolina's House, has added his voice to the chorus.

"What has become clear is that Governor Sanford’s issues will continue to dominate our state as long as he remains in office," Harrell said in a letter to the governor delivered Tuesday. "Whether he should be removed from office is a question that will need to be answered from the State Ethics Commission investigation, but our state’s future is too important to have the Governor’s issues overshadow everything we do for the next fifteen months. For the good of our state, Governor Sanford should step aside."

CNN's Peter Hamby reports that "Harrell got an earful from members of the House Republican caucus at their annual retreat in Myrtle Beach last month, when a majority of House Republicans said the governor should either resign or be impeached."

Sanford publicly rejected Bauer's call for his resignation; he's likely to do the same with Harrell's.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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