COLUMBIA - Gov. Mark Sanford said legislators and friends encouraged him to stay on the job, in part, to not set the state back and to not interfere with the 2010 governor's race.
Sanford, who is limited to two terms, would be replaced by Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer if he resigned. Both men are Republicans.
Bauer told CNN that he would be willing to assume the position on the agreement that he wouldn't run for a full term after serving Sanford's remaining 18 months. Bauer said that would help to take political angling out of the picture.
But Sanford said he is no longer considering resigning. Leaving office would be the easy thing to do, he said. Resigning was his initial reaction.
"If the good Lord's going to make changes in your life, you've gotta stick around for the process," he said.
Sanford declined to say why he traveled to Argentina to see his mistress when his wife asked him specifically not to go, saying that question was too personal.
The remarks followed the state Budget and Control Board meeting, where he again apologized for his affair with an Argentine woman. It was revealed Friday that Sanford visited his mistress while on a state-funded trip to Argentina.
Sanford apologized to some of his biggest political enemies before he called the Budget and Control Board meeting to order.
Sanford and board member Sen. Hugh Leatherman have been constantly at odds. Leatherman, R-Florence, is the Legislature's top budget writer.
The governor acknowledged his strained relationship with the members of the board, which he has lobbied hard to dissolve. He spent years arguing for its power to be transferred to the executive branch.
Sanford said he is coming out of this situation a changed man. He said he is learning to be less judgemental and more humble and forgiving.
Check back for any updates and read the complete story in Tuesday's editions of The Post and Courier.