By Jim Davenport-Associated Press
BEAUFORT, S.C. | Things are looking up for Gov. Mark Sanford as he prepares to leave office on his own terms more than a year after the international affair that derailed his once-promising political career.
He will be replaced by his chosen successor. “Tea party” supporters across the country have taken up his messages about fiscal responsibility. Friends say his midlife crisis is over.
Still, the two-term governor says he is not sure what’s next and talks vaguely about writing a book or going back into business.
“It’s an interesting spot to be at, because my nature is always to have a next plan, but on this one I don’t,” said Mr. Sanford, a 50-year-old former developer-turned-congressman. All he will say for now is that he plans to take his son’s green pickup truck and head toward home on the state’s southern coast, though he is not sure exactly where he will live.
“I’m driving east on 26 and beyond that, it’s a new adventure and we’ll figure out the next chapter of life,” he said.
The previous chapters include one of the decade’s most-watched political implosions.
He disappeared from the state for five days in June 2009 and told his staff he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail, but he was really in Argentina visiting his mistress. He returned and held a press conference at which he confessed “I have been unfaithful to my wife.”
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