COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell on Tuesday sent Governor Mark Sanford a letter asking Sanford to resign. Here are Harrell's comments regarding the request:
"It was with much thought and trepidation that I came to this conclusion. I did so only after I spoke with colleagues in the Legislature, talked with leaders in our communities, heard from numerous citizens from across the state and carefully reviewed the facts surrounding the situation.
"What has become clear is that Governor Sanford's issues will continue to dominate our state as long as he remains in office. 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.
"The issues we have facing our state and the work that needs to be accomplished is too important for us to spend this next year bogged down with the distractions Governor Sanford's actions have created.
"South Carolina needs strong and effective leadership to address the pressing issues facing our state. The continued distractions brought on by Governor Sanford's self-inflicted wounds have proven that he is not in a position to lead us in that direction. If Governor Sanford remains in office, too much time will be spent overcoming these obstacles instead of dealing with the important issues facing us, such as addressing job creation, education and health care.
"This is a disappointing situation, but a necessary step for the public restoration of trust to our state's highest elected office and the only way to allow our state to move forward."