Mayor Vincent Gray should resign, majority of Washington Post poll voters say

(AP, ABC7) - More than half of District of Columbia residents say embattled Mayor Vincent Gray should resign.

A Washington Post poll published Thursday showed 54 percent of residents say Gray should step down.

Thirty-seven percent say he should not and 9 percent have no opinion. The mayor's support is also dropping among his political base, with 48 percent of African Americans saying he should resign.

Of those who voted for him, about four in 10 think he should quit. It was revealed last week in federal court that Gray's election was aided by $650,000 in illicit funds from a prominent government contractor.

The poll also said that among its participants, Mayor Gray only has a 30 percent approval rating.

The mayor was asked today if it bothers him, to which he replied that it did.

He acknowledges the parade of his campaign associates pleading guilty to various corruption charges in federal court is bad for him, particularly since he's not explaining his role based he says on lawyers advice.

“I work hard every day,” he says. “I would urge people and strongly ask them to allow this whole process to play out."

Three D.C. Councilmembers have called on the mayor to resign. But Gray's supporters say he hasn't been charged and shouldn't resign if he didn't know about the shadow campaign.

Gray has repeatedly reaffirmed his intention to serve the rest of his term as D.C.'s mayor. Appearing on NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt on NewsChannel 8 last week, Gray said that he did the best job he could running a campaign while also serving as the president of the D.C. Council in 2010.

"People should remember...I was the one that called for the investigation." Gray told DePuyt.

Gray's attorney, Robert G. Bennett, said that everyone involved - from the media to people with their own political agendas - are treating the mayor unfairly.

"There is a rush to judgment based on speculation and a presumption of guilt," Bennett said in a statement. "He has not been charged with anything, much less convicted." You can read Bennett's full statement here.