Mark Sanford has posted an open letter on his Web site offering apologies and offering a spiritual explanation for staying in office.

Immediately after all this unfolded last week I had thought I would resign - as I believe in the military model of leadership and when trust of any form is broken one lays down the sword. A long list of close friends have suggested otherwise - that for God to really work in my life I shouldn't be getting off so lightly. While it would be personally easier to exit stage left, their point has been that my larger sin was the sin of pride. They contended that in many instances I may well have held the right position on limited government, spending or taxes - but that if my spirit wasn't right in the presentation of those ideas to people in the General Assembly, or elsewhere, I could elicit the response that I had at many times indeed gotten from other state leaders.

Sanford made similar points to reporters earlier today. He also said he'd had "phenomenal" support from friends and was encouraged by state senators to stay at the helm.

"A whole bunch of them said, 'Don't resign. It will set us back from the standpoint of a number of things that are being worked on. We'll have to retool all over again. There is a certain apparatus that goes with economic development, which is so critical right now."


"You can have the right ideas on conservative government, limited government but if the spirit with which you presented those ideas is wrong, you could still be just as wrong," he said. "(My friends) point was, 'You need to go through the 18-month process, as painful as it might be, of getting your spirit right in the way you present ideas. Their point was, 'This could be your most productive legislative session if you are walking with the right spirit to the House and Senate leadership."

But three more Republican legislators added their names to the rolls today of those calling for the governor to step down.

At a local Chamber of Commerce breakfast in Cherokee County, GOP House members Lanny Littlejohn, Dennis Moss and Steve Moss each told the audience that Sanford has lost the credibility to steer the state's economy through the final 18 months of his term following revelations of an extramarital affair.

Some Republican officials and activists are gearing up for a rally later this week calling on Sanford to step down. The Charleston City Paper calls for his resignation, saying "the governor's true sin was being an idiot." There's now a SanfordMustGo Web site up to facilitate information, petitions and phone calls pertaining to his resignation.