Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam goes to church under pressure to quit

Geraldine Edwards
February 6, 2019

During the same press conference, Northam revealed that he once wore blackface for a Michael Jackson dance contest, which occurred around the same year the offensive photo was taken. And at one point, he seemed as if he might do the moonwalk for reporters before his wife intervened to tell him no.

Former vice president Joe Biden also says Northam needs to step down, tweeting the governor "Has lost all moral authority".

While Republican state lawmakers called for Northam's resignation, state House Speaker Kirk Cox, leader of the Republican-controlled House of Delegates, expressed "rightful hesitation" about trying to force Northam from office.

The Governor of Virginia wants the good people of his state to know he is deeply sorry and extraordinarily embarrassed over his decision to attend a high-school Halloween party dressed in a racist costume. "He's going to do the right thing". "We've had a terrible history in Virginia".

Republicans have sought to tie the yearbook controversy to Northam's support for a state bill that would loosen restrictions on third-trimester abortions.

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Should Northam, a Democrat, ultimately step down, Lt. Gov Justin Fairfax would become the second black governor in the South since Reconstruction.

It continued: "Governor Northam has served the people of the Commonwealth faithfully for many years, but the events of the past 24 hours have inflicted vast pain and irrevocably broken the trust Virginians must have in their leaders". Lamont Bagby, D-Va., the chair of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, said on "This Week" Sunday that he's not ready to discuss potential impeachment, but reiterated his call for Northam to resign. Monday morning, protesters gathered outside the governor's mansion in Richmond.

The meetings included frank conversations about the difficulties of governing under such circumstances, the person said.

"My first intention. was to reach out and apologize", he said, adding that he recognized that people would be offended by the photo. And so if it isn't you, you come out with it immediately and say this is not me. Northam scored what would normally be two legacy-making victories: expanding Medicaid and landing a new Amazon headquarters with 25,000 new jobs. He said he'd never bought or looked at the yearbook before Friday, was in the military during school, and was doing rotations, so didn't participate in the publication. You know if you put a hood on. "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. We've worked very closely together.

So we've got to move forward. While Northam initially confirmed his appearance in the image and issued an apology, he later changed his story. "I don't know what the deal is behind all of this".

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The allegations were first reported by Big League Politics, the news outlet that first published the yearbook image.

The scars from centuries of racial oppression are still raw in a state that was once home to the capital of the Confederacy. "I am in a unique position, obviously, as the lieutenant governor and someone who would have to assume that office in the event that he were to resign, so I have to be very circumspect and I have to think of the people or the commonwealth".

Even if Northam doesn't resign, the scandal threatens to cripple his ability to govern. He is a member of a predominantly black church.

Ralph Northam was accused by prominent Republicans of supporting infanticide because of comments he made about late-term abortions in which the infant is severely deformed or unable to survive after birth.

On Saturday the Democrat from Virginia denied he was either person in that 1984 photo and rejected calls to resign.

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But pressure on him from within his party is growing.

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