Mark Sanford Censured By S.C. Republicans

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The South Carolina Republican Party voted to censure embattled Gov. Mark Sanford for disappearing from the state to visit a mistress in Argentina.

But the party did not call for his resignation, an indication that Sanford may be able to hold on to power for the remaining 18 months of his term.

We just hope his racy emails go into the state's official archives.

Party leaders were divided during a closed-door meeting, with 22 members voting to censure Sanford, 10 calling for his resignation, and nine for no action.

The censure resolution states that a "formal admonishment" is necessary and that "barring further revelations" it will be the "last word on the matter."

So basically, because Mark Sanford was shady but probably didn't break any laws, and received a timely media-distracting boost from Sarah Palin and Michael Jackson, he's totally in the clear! Woo hoo! That was a close one!

"Today has brought a large measure of resolution to a sad chapter in our state party's history," state party chairman Karen Floyd said in a statement. "Republicans came together to speak with a unified voice, and now is the time for healing."

A Mark Sanford spokesman told reporters that "the governor fully appreciates the party's position and intends to work diligently to earn back its trust."

Funny, he made the same statement last week, only inserting "wife" instead of "party." No word if Jenny Sanford intends on making him "resign" as husband.

The party's reprimand comes nearly two weeks after Sanford returned from a secretive trip to Argentina and admitted his affair with Maria Belen Chapur.

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