Sanford Scandal Divides SC Republicans

Controversial lieutenant gov would get office, jump on 2010 race
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 29, 2009 10:42 AM CDT
In this 2006 file photo, South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer answers questions during an interview with the Associated Press in Columbia, SC.   (AP Photo/Perry Baker, File)
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(Newser) – Term limits mean Mark Sanford must leave the South Carolina governor's office in 2010, and some state Republicans are hoping he doesn't go anywhere before then, Politico reports. They may be unhappy with his recent conduct, but should he resign, the office would go to a lieutenant governor who’s sparked his own share of controversy by speeding in a state car and having risqué photos on his MySpace page.

Unaired attack ads opposing Andre Bauer during his 2006 campaign for lieutenant governor give a taste of what could be a vicious 2010 primary. Meanwhile, some conservatives worry that Bauer could easily fall prey to Democrats and the media—so they’re not calling for Sanford to quit. “There’s a lot of people who would like to get rid of Sanford but they think to themselves, ‘My goodness me, then it will be Bauer,’” says a political scientist.