AWOL SC Gov Takes a Hike

AWOL Sanford ditched security, family for days-long hike on the Appalachian Trail

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 23, 2009 4:27 AM CDT

(Newser) – South Carolina now has a rough idea where its missing governor is after several days of mystery that perplexed and infuriated lawmakers, AP reports. A spokesman said Mark Sanford—who ditched his security detail last Thursday and missed Father's Day with his family—has gone on a hike along the Appalachian Trail to "clear his head" after the legislative session. But aides still don't know exactly where he is.

Sanford's phones have been switched off and he hadn't told his family where he was going. State politicians slammed the governor for his "erratic" behavior, which left them wondering who was running the state. "I cannot take lightly that his staff has not had communication with him for more than four days, and that no one, including his own family, knows his whereabouts," fumed the state's lieutenant governor, who said Sanford hadn't put him in charge before vanishing.

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford fields questions during a news conference in Columbia. Sanford has been out of contact with state officials since Thursday.   (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain, file)
"He's just up there to kind of clear his head after the legislative session," a spokesman said of Gov. Sanford's Appalachian Trial hike.   (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain)
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It's one thing for the boys to go off by themselves, but on Father's Day to leave your family behind? That's erratic. - South Carolina Senate Minority Leader John Land

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