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SC Republicans consider Sanford's political fate

http://66.225.205.104/JR20090706.mp3

In the nearly two weeks since Governor Mark Sanford confessed to having an affair and lying to hide it, the South Carolina Republican Party has not taken an official position. Tonight, that may change. WFAE's Julie Rose reports: The South Carolina Republican Party has convened a special meeting by conference call tonight. Party leaders from all 46 counties were told the meeting is mandatory, but were not given a specific topic. It's not necessary - they all know it's about Governor Sanford. To this point, the party's chairwoman has refrained from taking a clear position on whether the Governor should resign, but Republican National Committeeman Glenn McCall has been pointed. He says Sanford will only do further damage to the Republican brand if he stays in office. "You run as a family values candidate, you have to live that," says McCall. "If it was me, I would step down because I'm setting a bad example as a leader in the party." McCall is one of the most vocal Republicans calling for Sanford's resignation. But he is only one of dozens of votes required for the party's executive committee to take official action. Tonight they may decide to demand Sanford's resignation, or they could do as Pickens County Chairman Philip Bowers hopes and simply slap the Governor's hand: "He's made an egregious error, obviously," says Bowers. "He should be severely censured for that, but based on what I know right now, I believe the turmoil of his resignation would be just as bad as him staying in office for another 18 months." If Republican Party leaders take a vote tonight, Bowers says it's likely to be close. Greenville County Committeeman Dan Herren agrees. He is one of many party leaders to have received a personal phone call from Governor Sanford in recent days. "He said 'I'm not asking you to vote one way or the other. You just need to vote what's best for the party and vote with your heart,'" recounts Herren. "And I appreciated him saying that. I said 'Governor, I was undecided before we had this conversation and I'm still undecided but you've given me a lot of food for thought.'" Going into tonight's 7 p.m. conference call, Herren remains undecided and considers this likely the most important vote he will cast as a Republican Party leader.