WASHINGTON (CNN) - South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford remains "defiant" in the face of calls for him to resign in the wake of his admission last week that he engaged in an extramarital affair, a close Sanford ally tells CNN.
The source, a South Carolina Republican, said Sanford showed no signs Wednesday of stepping down even as support for from longtime backers begins to slip. The GOP source, who has known the governor for decades and spoke freely about the situation on the condition of anonymity, said there are concerns among Sanford allies about his ability to lead the state, given the recent public comments about his wife and mistress.
The source said he hopes that Sanford will leave office on his own, but suggested the governor could go down fighting.
"Honestly, I think he could go down in the ugliest, messiest way," said the source, who added that he would be "shocked if [the governor] quit, because it doesn't fit his profile."
The source pointed to the governor's history of going it alone against his own party in Washington as a congressman and during his time as governor, most recently over the federal stimulus money fight.
"He has always been a guy who has stuck with what he believes in, even if everyone else is against him," the source said.