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Western Virginia reacts to Governor McDonnell's apology

By Joe Dashiell, jdashiell@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jul 24 2013 06:14:19 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 24 2013 06:42:44 PM EDT

We head to Main Street for reaction to Governor McDonnell's apology

SALEM, Va. -

Many of the people we met Wednesday afternoon knew nothing of the governor's recent apology or the controversy surrounding gifts and loans from a wealthy donor, but in Salem we did find some support for the Governor.

Sandra Greenwood is a vendor at the Salem Farmer's Market. " I think it was alright, but I don't think he needed to do that," Greenwood told us. "You know he's a good governor, I think he should remain that way and I don't think this gift thing has anything to do with him in office."

George Close agreed. "I don't think he did it intentionally or he did it viciously or trying to cheat anybody," Close said, "but he came out with an apology, and I accept it.  It's fine."

What the controversy means for the governor's future is less certain.
If McDonnell avoids any more damaging headlines, Roanoke College Political Science Professor Harry Wilson says he should be able to weather the storm and complete his term, but his political career will be hard to resurrect.

"If he were to run for public office again in the future there is no question the story would be everywhere and it would be everywhere all over again," Wilson said in an interview. "So even if right now most people aren't paying attention to it, and even if it doesn't sort of bite him now, it's hanging out there."

Wilson says the story isn't going away. And Governor McDonnell will return to more questions when he completes his visit to Afghanistan this weekend.