COLUMBIA, S.C., Sept. 8 (UPI) -- South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell Tuesday publicly urged Republican Gov. Mark Sanford to resign "for the good of our state."
Harrell is the latest in a growing line of South Carolina political leaders to call on Sanford to resign. In a letter delivered to Sanford's office Tuesday, Harrell said the governor needs to resign to remove distractions resulting from his extramarital affair, The (S.C.) State reported.
"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 news release. "Whether he should be re-moved 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."
Sanford has refused repeated calls for his resignation. Some House members have said if the governor does not resign he should be impeached and members of the House Republican Caucus have told the newspaper there is near unanimity among caucus members that Sanford should resign.
The Ethics Commission is investigating Sanford, who this year acknowledged the extramarital affair after returning to South Carolina from a secret trip to Argentina. The investigation is expected to take as much as eight weeks to complete.