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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

Politics

David Lewkowict

Atlanta, GA

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SC Gov. Takes a Hike

June 23, 2009 - 2:07 PM | by: David Lewkowict

After missing in action for five days South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, a rising star in the Republican party and a possible contender for the 2012 Presidential nomination, has been found – sort of.  Late Monday evening spokesperson Joel Sawyer issued a “High Priority” statement indicating “the governor is hiking along the Appalachian Trail.”

The governor’s office didn’t identify what part of the trail, which runs 2175 miles through 14 states, South Carolina not being one of them.

The Associated Press reported that First Lady Jenny Sanford didn’t know her husband’s whereabouts but that she was not concerned. And that the governor had told her “he needed time away from their children to write something.”

The 49 year old father of four left the Governor’s Mansion just three days before Fathers Day in a black SUV assigned to his State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) security detail, according to state Sen. Jake Knotts (R-Lexington).

Upon news that the Governor was missing, SC Democratic Party Chair Carol Fowler stated “no one begrudges Governor Sanford time to relax, but it is strange beyond words that he would leave his official duties without making any arrangements for them to be handled in his absence.”

Sawyer’s statement also indicated that “it isn’t unusual for the governor to be out of pocket for several days after the legislative session.”

His vocal oposition to taking federal stimulus money earned him national attention. (Read Jonathan Serrie’s blog). He lost a bitter court battle over that cash but helped him solidify his position as a fiscal conservative.

Sanford is expected to return to his office on Wednesday.

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