COLUMBIA - The man who would replace South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford if he resigned over his affair with a woman in Argentina says the governor should remain in office.

Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer told The Associated Press on Friday that he will try to help Sanford through the remaining year and half of his term. It was Bauer's first interview since Sanford revealed the affair Wednesday.

Bauer told AP that he and Sanford talked Thursday. Bauer says the two men did not discuss the possibility of a resignation.

Bauer and Sanford are Republicans, but they are not allies.

Bauer is expected to run for governor in 2010, but has not formally announced his plans. He did tell AP that he would have an advantage in the 2010 campaign if Sanford resigned.