House Speaker Bobby Harrell reacts to Governor Mark Sanford’s recent announcement of an affair with an Argentine woman. “I’m saddened and disappointed to hear it. I’m shocked to hear it. I’ve known Mark for a number of years and didn’t expect anything like this,” says Harrell.
Harrell says the question here for the people of South Carolina isn’t the affair, it’s a question of power.
“The issue for the state is the fact that we had our governor out of touch for five days and no one was in charge executive during that period of time. So, our concern is that if that ever happened again and we had a tornado or earthquake, we could end up in a pretty bad situation without a chief executive,” says Harrell.
As for the General Assembly, Harrell says Sanford’s absence has brought to light some questions.
“The chain of command, the order of succession and making sure that if a governor ever leaves like this again, we have a program in place so that we know that we have somebody in charge of the executive branch of the government at that time,” says Harrell.
Harrell says it’s not up to him if the governor should resign.
“It’s up to Mark. I think he has to make a decision on whether or not he can effectively lead the state. Once he’s made that determination, then he needs to do whatever he thinks is the right thing to do,” says Harrell.
The House Speaker says he hopes the best for the Sanford family to work out personal issues.