State Watch

Northam tells top staff he won't resign: report

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) told his staff Friday he will not resign over a racist photo from his medical school yearbook or his admission he wore blackface for a dance competition in 1984, according to The Associated Press.

A senior official told the AP that Northam met with his Cabinet on Friday and said he intends to serve the rest of his term despite an avalanche of bipartisan calls for his resignation that have been building up for a week.

The pressure began to build against the Virginia governor last week after a local newspaper published a picture from his medical school yearbook showing a person wearing blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood.

While Northam apologized Friday and said he was one of the people in the picture, he reversed course Saturday and said that he had concluded he was actually not in the photograph.

In that same press conference, he said he did wear blackface in 1984 at a dance competition.

The scandal has led to a bipartisan avalanche of calls for his resignation in Washington, D.C., and Richmond.

The Democratic members of the Virginia congressional delegation Tuesday night doubled down on their calls for Northam to step aside, and the state Republican Party put out a statement last week slamming the yearbook picture, saying it was "unforgivable."

Among those initially calling for Northam's ouster was state Attorney General Mark Herring (D), the second in line to the governorship, who Wednesday admitted that he, too, wore blackface to a party while he was an undergraduate in college.

The chaos in Richmond has also extended to Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D), who was hit Friday by a second allegation of sexual misconduct from a woman who said he raped her in 2000. Fairfax had already been accused of sexual assault earlier in the week.

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