Va. Gov. McDonnell apologizes, repays loans to wealthy donor

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell speaks during the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 28, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

After months of controversy over his relationship with a wealthy campaign donor, Gov. Bob McDonnell, R-Va., on Tuesday announced he has repaid all the loans he received from the donor, apologizing for any "embarrassment" he caused his state.

McDonnell's office said in a statement the governor has personally paid back Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams more than $52,000 for a loan made to his wife Maureen McDonnell in 2011. He also paid Williams back more than $71,000 for two additional loans made in 2012 to the small real estate business owned jointly by the governor and his sister. The payments include both principal and interest.

"I am deeply sorry for the embarrassment certain members of my family and I brought upon my beloved Virginia and her citizens," McDonnell said in the statement. "I want you to know that I broke no laws and that I am committed to regaining your sacred trust and confidence."

McDonnell, who was was mentioned as a possible GOP vice presidential candidate in 2012 and is considered a potential 2016 candidate, could see his political career dogged by his relationship with Williams. Since Virginia governors are limited to one term, McDonnell will leave office in January 2014.

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