Protesters in Virginia demand Northam resign

Protesters in Virginia demand Northam resign

Dozens of protesters assembled near the governor's mansion in Richmond, Va., on Monday morning to call for Gov. Ralph Northam's (D) resignation amid a scandal over a racist photo that appeared on his medical school yearbook page.

WBBT in Richmond and other local news outlets reported that demonstrators chanted and carried hand-made signs decrying Northam, who met with senior staff last night amid growing calls for him to step down.

WBBT reported that at least a few attendees indicated that they had previously volunteered on Northam’s campaign.

Demonstrators have gathered for the last hour side the Executive mansion in downtown Richmond. They’re demanding Gov. Northam resign following the racist photo controversy that began Friday. #RVAnews #VAnews pic.twitter.com/bCrp1QWU5O

Virginia House Speaker Kirk Cox (R), who has called for Northam to resign, indicated Monday that he does not intend to pursue impeachment at this point, WBBT reported.

“That’s a very high standard," Cox said. "And so I think that’s why we’ve called for resignation. We hope that’s what the governor does. I think that would obviously be less pain for everyone.”

Northam has been under siege since Friday night when it was first reported that a photo on his 1984 medical school yearbook page showed a man in blackface and another individual wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe.

Northam initially apologized for appearing in the photo, but has since said he is not either person in the image. He acknowledged at a press conference on Saturday that he once wore blackface to dress up like Michael Jackson.

Scores of state and national Democratic officials have called on Northam to resign, though he has said he does not plan to do so.