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Dem governor candidate: Here's how to remove Sanford

A Democratic candidate for governor Wednesday called on elected statewide leaders to remove Republican Gov. Mark Sanford from office.

Columbia attorney Dwight Drake, who is seeking the Democratic nomination in the 2010 race, said four elected statewide leaders should use a little-known provision in the state Constitution to remove the embattled Sanford.

The state Constitution gives the attorney general, comptroller general, secretary of state and state treasurer the collective authority to remove a sitting S.C. governor from office by declaring him or her unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.

“He has made it crystal clear he is unable to do his job,” Drake said at a morning news conference.

The Constitution does not clearly define what renders a governor unable to serve, and it is unclear whether the provision is restricted to a governor’s mental or physical capacity, or could include political impairment.

All four of the posts are held by Republicans, and it's unlikely all four would move to oust Sanford. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom is a strong Sanford ally, for instance.

Drake, the most recent Democrat to declare for the governor’s job, is a high-powered lobbyist whose candidacy has been heavily criticized because of the clients he has represented before the General Assembly.

-- Roddie Burris

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