Sen. Chip Campsen, R-Isle of Palms, and his wife, Lalla Lee, are longtime friends of the governor and his family. Campsen said the Sanfords, especially Jenny, have reached out to him and his wife for counseling and advice.
The Campsens have been married for 22 years. The senator, who served on Sanford's transition team and as a senior policy adviser, attended Furman University with the governor. Their friendship grew because of the common interests the men share of the outdoors, hunting, fishing and even surfing.
Campsen said over time his wife and Jenny Sanford formed a very close relationship. The Sanfords four sons are also friends with the Campsens' two boys.
Campsen said he made his thoughts known to the governor about whether he should resign, but decided not to make the comments public.
"We're trying to provide some counseling and advice with the goal toward keeping this family together and helping shield the children from the things they should be shielded from. We're praying for the reconciliation of this family."
Campsen said he believe the Sanfords' marriage can survive, but "it will certainly take some work."
"Proper respect for the institution means even infidelity can be forgiven," he said. "Because the institution is so important, it should not be disregarded lightly and even in the face of infidelity. That's a worthy endeavor."
Infidelity can be forgiven if there is repentance, Campsen said, but without repentance, there are consequences.
Campsen said he spoke to Jenny about the governor's public comments about his affair and encounters with other women, but out of respect he said he wouldn't talk about her reaction.
"Jenny is very strong and I am extremely proud of the manner that she has stood up for the marriage," Campsen said.
Campsen said he and the governor have taken their sons on a lot of outdoor adventures together. They call them Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn experiences.
The governor's actions and the effect they may have on his sons were shocking and disappointing to Campsen, he said.
"They were not in line with the degree of devotion that I experienced in the past," Campsen said, speaking of Sanford's interactions with his sons. "It is painful to me, personally, for the impact on those boys."
Campsen said he has traveled with the governor once internationally and that was a trip the families took together to go surfing in Costa Rica. The men had been on many hunting trips together without their families, but Campsen said the governor never in his company exhibited inappropriate behavior.