Prominent Democrats Call Virginia's Governor to Resign following Discovery of Racist Photo


Ralph Northam refused to resign last week, he did so in the shadow of a Capitol built by a founding father and a slave owner, in the former seat of the Confederacy still wrestling with what to do about statues that honor those who fought to preserve slavery. Now that same quality may be contributing to what is looking more and more like a spectacular career-ending disaster.

U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings has joined a chorus of elected officials calling on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to step down over a racist photo in his medical school yearbook.

The report of the allegation was published on the same website, Big League Politics, that first published Northam's yearbook page.

However, in a press conference Saturday afternoon, Gov. Northam, a Democrat, said he believes he was not one of the two in the photo.

After the news conference, in which he admitted to wearing blackface to imitate Michael Jackson at a dance contest in 1984, Democrats in the General Assembly and in Virginia's congressional delegation intensified their calls for him to resign. He has no base of political support and has become a pariah, with fellow Democrats fearing he would ruin the party's prospects in a key election year. "Integrity is so important, I think, to really continue and do well in your profession", says Sheri Smith, Navy Veteran, PBR Certified Sports Agent, and ...

Many prominent politicians have called for his resignation.

When Northam first ran for state Senate in 2007, then-Gov. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner urged him to resign.

It turned out to be the ideal pedigree in the 2017 gubernatorial race, when Northam easily won after presenting himself as the soothing antidote to President Donald Trump's polarizing style. If he tries to stay in office, then Democrats in Richmond will likely come under increased pressure to remove him from office involuntarily sooner rather than later. Northam scored what would normally be two legacy-making victories: expanding Medicaid and landing a new Amazon headquarters with 25,000 new jobs.

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He told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" that the explanation Northam offered in a news conference Saturday doesn't make a difference "at this juncture". "He has been a friend to me and has treated my family and me with hospitality and respect", Fairfax wrote in a statement Saturday, noting that he is a descendant of people enslaved in Virginia. He's often visited and campaigned in African-American churches around the Commonwealth of Virginia, but this morning, many churchgoers were concerned and confused. And it was actually during that conversation, I said, you know, Seth, I put some shoe polish on my face, I competed in a dance contest dressed up as Michael Jackson, and I said, I assume you probably would think that's offensive.

Many of Northam's former allies said he could not stay in office after Friday's apology for the photo.

The Democratic governor and pediatric neurologist was defending efforts to loosen abortion restrictions during a January 30 radio interview when described a hypothetical situation where a severely deformed newborn infant could be left to die.

Mr Trump's abortion comment referred to Mr Northam's support for easing restrictions on terminations.

Democrats are anxious about what Northam's refusal to resign may mean for the party.

Whew! For a minute there we were concerned that the Governor of Virginia was a piece of crap AND a racist.

MARTIN: As the calls for resignation from political leaders on both sides of the aisle continue, Virginians who have supported Northam are wrestling with what to make of what's been a unusual and painful 48 hours. Scholars and Virginia officials have been studying the State Constitution and its provisions to oust a sitting governor. Herring asked. "Honestly, for me that will always be at the back of my mind".