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Christie visits Fort Lee

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 09 2014 09:00:15 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 10 2014 10:09:43 AM CST

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie did some damage control Thursday.

FORT LEE, N.J. -

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did some damage control Thursday. He apologized to the mayor of Fort Lee, Mark Sokolich, for traffic jams apparently caused by members of his staff in what might have been a case of political payback.

Sokolich said Christie has taken a big step toward regaining the trust of the borough's residents.

"He was gracious, he was apologetic," described Sokolich. "We believe sincere."

Christie personally visited the town Thursday afternoon to apologize for traffic jams last September that appear to have been engineered by members of his staff, a move that was apparently retribution for the Democratic mayor not endorsing Christie's re-election bid.

"We in Fort Lee are not rooting for facts to come about and surface that would suggest in some shape or form that he was involved," shared Sokolich. "We take him for his word."

New Jersey residents seem to be sticking by their governor.

"I'm willing to take him for what he is saying right now," said Ralph Avard. "And I think most people will."

"I feel like basically it really wasn't his fault," Lori Anne Pollack added. "I mean his aides went behind his back and just you know went ahead and did all this."

The question now for Christie is whether the scandal will jam up his political career.

"I think it will blow over," Ken Gerhardt said. "I really think it will."

"He's got till 2016, I don't think this is going to cost him the Presidential nomination if he chooses to do that," Avard explained.

Political experts, however, aren't so sure, especially if it comes to light Christie was more involved with the traffic hiccup.

"If it comes to the point, especially after statements today, he knew anything or any inclining or any connection, it's game over for him," explained Chris Borick, a political science professor.

The FBI is working with the U.S. attorney's office to see if any federal laws were broken.