Governor Sanford's wife files for divorce

CHARLESTON, South Carolina Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:37pm EST

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford arrives with his wife Jenny at a White House dinner held by U.S. President Barack Obama for the National Governors Association in Washington, in this file photo taken February 22, 2009. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford arrives with his wife Jenny at a White House dinner held by U.S. President Barack Obama for the National Governors Association in Washington, in this file photo taken February 22, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) - The wife of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford said on Friday that she was filing for divorce, six months after Sanford traveled secretly to Argentina for what he later confessed was an extramarital affair.

The two-term Republican governor, once considered a potential presidential candidate, lamented Jenny Sanford's decision to seek divorce and took responsibility for his "moral failure".

Jenny Sanford cited "many unsuccessful efforts at reconciliation" in a brief statement announcing her decision to seek the divorce.

On Wednesday, a South Carolina legislative subcommittee voted not to recommend the impeachment of Sanford, saying his secret trip in June for an affair with an Argentine woman did not meet the constitutional standard of "serious misconduct."

The matter goes before the full judiciary committee of the South Carolina House of Representatives for a vote next week.

The governor said his wife had been "more than gracious" over the past six months.

"While it is not the course I would have hoped for, or would choose, I want to take full responsibility for the moral failure that led to this tragic point," Sanford said in a statement.

(Reporting by Harriet McCleod; editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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