Does Jenny Sanford Have a New Love?

South Carolina's former first lady is dating a Georgia businessman.

April 15, 2010, 11:53 AM

April 15, 2010— -- Don't cry for her, Argentina. Jenny Sanford has a new man.

South Carolina's former first lady, whose divorce became official just last month, is dating Georgia businessman Clay Boardman, Sanford's assistant Meg Milne told ABC News.

Sanford met Boardman when he attended her speech at the College of Charleston on March 17. They were introduced to each other by the college's president and mutual friend, George Benson.

Their first meeting following the introduction "was a walk on the beach," Milne said via e-mail, and the two have been steadily seeing each other since then.

Boardman and Sanford have gone out a few times for dinners in Charleston, a roughly 20-minute drive from Sullivan's Island, where Sanford now lives with her four sons. The two also attended the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga., last weekend.

Boardman is owner and president of real estate holdings firm Augusta Capital. He was previously chief executive of a convenience store and truck stop retail chain, and before that headed a company that owned and operated petroleum bulk storage facilities across the Southeast. Boardman owns a vacation home in Sullivan's Island, a stone's throw away from Sanford's house.

The Georgia resident told The Augusta Chronicle that he and Sanford have "just known each other a few weeks" and are taking things slowly. But "I will say we are getting along quite well."

Sanford echoed those sentiments, telling The Associated Press that they "are getting along beautifully."

Sanford was thrust into the national spotlight last year after her husband, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, admitted to an extramarital affair and professed his eternal love for his Argentine mistress, Maria Belen Chapur.

In a recent book tour for her memoir "Staying True," Sanford said she would be open to dating again.

Jenny Sanford Starts Dating After Public Divorce

Jenny and Mark Sanford started their careers on Wall Street, where she was a vice president in mergers and acquisitions at the investment bank Lazard Freres. The couple met in the Hamptons, Long Island, married and headed to South Carolina. They were married for nearly 20 years.

Sanford found out about her husband's affair in early 2009 after discovering racy letters that showed he was clearly "having a sexual relationship."

In an interview with ABC's Barbara Walters in February, the Georgetown graduate recalled that she was "stunned" when she found out.

"It was incredibly painful for me," she said.

Moreover, the governor begged her permission to see Chapur again.

"It was awful," she said. "It just, it ripped me up. To think that he wanted to go be with his lover is just gut-wrenching. There were days when I was a puddle, and I think I was shaking at home, in the bed, just thinking about him even being with her. And the whole two -- I think it was a two-day trip -- I mean, I was nervous the whole time."

Sanford moved out of the governor's mansion with her sons in August, and filed for divorce in December.

Sanford told Walters that she was "looking forward to whatever comes next."

"What matters most is how you live your life, not what you have to show for it," Sanford wrote in her memoir.

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