Close friend of Virginia Gov. Northam: 'He’s not leaving' despite rolling controversy

A close associate of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) says he doesn't expect the governor to resign over the emergence of a racist photo in a past yearbook and his disclosure that he had once worn blackface.

The scandal surrounding Northam has rocked Virginia's state house and since engulfed other top figures in separate controversies.

Republican state Sen. Richard Stuart, a close friend of the governor who has talked with Northam told Politico that Northam "knows what he has to do" to remain in office.


“He’s not leaving,” said Stuart. “He understands he has to stand up and face this. He knows what he has to do. He’s staying.”

Northam faced an initial controversy last week when a blog surfaced a picture from the governor's medical school yearbook page depicting a man in Ku Klux Klan robes and another in blackface.

Northam initially apologized for the photo, but in a press conference on Saturday, he denied that he was either of the men in the picture.

However, he admitted he once wore blackface in a Michael Jackson dance contest.

Since his admission, Virginia's attorney general has admitted to his own instance of wearing blackface, while Northam's lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax, is battling accusations of sexual assault from a college professor who came forward publicly on Wednesday.

Fairfax has strongly denied the accusations.

Virgnia's two U.S. senators and most other prominent Democrats in the state and elsewhere have called for Northam's resignation, but the governor has indicated that he will stay in office.