Sanford was on vacation with 'soul mate'

Gov. Mark Sanford admitted to an affair with Maria Belen Chapur.

COLUMBIA -- Gov. Mark Sanford, now a single man, reunited with his one-time mistress in Florida last weekend, the governor confirmed Wednesday.

Sanford said he and his Argentine lover Maria Belen Chapur met to rekindle their relationship.

Sanford told The Associated Press last summer that Chapur was his "soul mate."

The relationship cost Sanford his marriage and put an end to his political ambitions. He leaves office in January.

"As a matter of record, everybody in this room knows exactly who I was with over the weekend," Sanford said.

"That is no mystery to anybody given what I said last summer. And, you know, the purpose was obviously to see if something could be restarted on that front given the rather enormous geographic gulf between us. And time will tell. I don't know if it will or won't."

The governor's comments came as he responded to questions during a press conference on his decision to veto legislation that would raise court fees.

Sanford would not say if it was the first time he had seen Chapur since he admitted to the affair publicly last June, hours after a reporter spotted him at the Atlanta airport on his way home from Argentina.

He said at that time that he had misled his staff to believe that he was hiking the Appalachian Trail while he actually was with his mistress.

Although Sanford would not talk much Wednesday about his most recent trip, he did say that he owed the public a few basic details.

The governor said he was in regular communication with his staff while he was out of state, and that law enforcement in Florida was providing his security.

Beyond that, he asked reporters to back off.

"This obsession with one's personal life at some point has got to end," Sanford said.

The governor and his wife, Jenny, divorced in March. She's now dating Georgia businessman Clay Boardman, a neighbor of hers on Sullivan's Island.

Sanford survived calls for his impeachment and last week was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing, but he paid more than $100,000 in fines and investigation fees to the State Ethics Commission to settle a case involving possible civil violations.

His ethics fine was the largest in state history. He also was censured by the House.