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VA lawmaker who's known Northam for a decade: He 'cannot effectively govern'

06 February 2019

Democrats from across the nation demanded Northam resign after a yearbook photo surfaced showing one person wearing blackface and another dressed in the Ku Klux Klan's signature white hood and robes. The denial failed to silence calls for the governor to quit.

"We no longer believe he can effectively serve as the governor of Virginia and that he must resign", Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine and Representative Robert C. Scott, all of them Democrats and two of them former governors themselves, said in a statement on Saturday evening.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam speaks with reporters at a press conference at the Governor's mansion in Richmond, Virginia, Feb. 2, 2019.

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.

Both of Virginia's USA senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, joined the dean of Virginia's congressional delegation, Rep. Bobby Scott, in saying in a statement Saturday night that they no longer believe Northam can effectively serve as governor.

"He's lost the authority to lead", said McEachin, who served in the Virginia state Senate with Northam. He will put Virginia first.

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Speaking about Northam specifically, Broadnax said, "I never found Ralph to be a racist".

"I think he's been completely dishonest and disingenuous", Rep. Karen Bass, D-California, said on NBC's "Meet the Press". The photo appears on Northam's personal yearbook page among other photos of him from school.

Referring to the allegation against him, Fairfax said he was not surprised it came at a critical time: "It's at that point that they come out with the attacks and the smears". The "memory of that is so vivid", he said, that he would have remembered having been in blackface at a party at the medical school. I recognize that it will take time and serious effort to heal the damage this conduct has caused.

A protestor outside the Virginia state capitol on Monday. "We are going to have to commit ourselves to making this right - not just with our words, but with our resources".

Another Democratic presidential candidate, Sen.

Malkin said on Fox & Friends that the governor's press conference on the matter Saturday was an implosion not seen since the Hindenburg disaster of 1937.

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Northam mentioned Saturday that he'd once painted his face "as part of a Michael Jackson costume", but that he was not the man with the darkened face in the photo in question. James Ryan, president of the University of Virginia, said in a statement that it would be "exceedingly difficult" for Northam to continue serving. He said the school was convening an "urgent meeting" of senior leadership and board members. "I did not purchase the EVMS yearbook and I was unaware of what was on my page". Frankly, the notion that Republican lawmakers support Northam's resignation, out of principled disdain for racism, is laughable. Jesse Jackson was running for president.

Despite calls for his resignation growing, Northam on Saturday vowed to stay in office. Meanwhile the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus wrote, "Another moment should not pass before we hear Governor Northam do the honorable thing and resign".

Northam held a meeting about the yearbook photo Sunday night with administration officials, according to two sources. But Saunders said it wasn't his call to say whether the governor should resign.

It was not just Northam who changed his statements. It was a dance contest. Northam is under fire for a racial photo that appeared in his college yearbook. His rapid rise, including a stint as lieutenant governor, was powered more by his biography than political charisma or know-how.

Had Northam resigned, he would have been succeeded by Fairfax.

Stuart Saunders, a 65-year-old Richmond resident, said he didn't vote for the governor.

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VA lawmaker who's known Northam for a decade: He 'cannot effectively govern'