Virginia governor denies he is in racist photo, refuses to resign

Best of Ralph Northam's victory speech

HORRIFIC racist photo found in Democrat Governor Ralph Northam’s yearbook sparks apology

It is because my memory of that episode is so vivid that I truly do not believe I am in the picture in my yearbook. I don't like Ralph Northam or his politics but I hate the mob.

"I had the shoes, I had a glove and I used just a little bit of shoe polish to put under, or on my cheeks", Northam said.

A statement issued with the USA representative Bobby Scott said: "After we watched his press conference today, we called Governor Northam to tell him that we no longer believe he can effectively serve as Governor of Virginia and that he must resign".

"I could spare myself from the hard path that lies ahead". He twisted the knife by adding, "And the reason I used a very little bit is because, I don't know if anybody's ever tried that, but you can not get shoe polish off".

Northam (D) released a video in response to the photo Friday and apologized, also admitting that he is one of the men appearing in the photo.

"My first intention ... was to reach out and apologize", he said, adding that he recognized that people would be offended by the photo. "I look back now and regret that I did not understand the harmful legacy of an action like that".

"There's no question the tide turned", said one ally, who had been briefed by the governor's senior staff.

Northam also denied ever appearing in a KKK robe and hood. "That is not my person on the pictures".

"People calling for his resignation, or Steve King's for that matter, they have a right to do so", Barber said. Kamala Harris, a California Democrat, posted on Twitter in her statement urging Northam to resign.

News of the photos from Northam's medical school yearbook came a week after Florida's secretary of state resigned; photos from a 2005 Halloween party showed him in blackface while dressed as a Hurricane Katrina victim. However, he said he was the only person who could have submitted the family photos that appeared on his own page. "He no longer has our confidence or our support", Democratic Party of Virginia Chair Susan Swecker said in the statement. "But golly Jesus, he could have said that the minute he saw the picture", Lucas said. It's unclear who the people are in the picture, but the rest of the page is filled with pictures of Northam and lists his undergraduate alma mater and other information about him. I recognize that it will take time and serious effort to heal the damage this conduct has caused.

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The Democratic Party of Virginia called on Northam to resign after the photo emerged.

The legislative Black Caucus repeated its call for Northam's resignation after his remarks today.

The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus wrote in a statement that they were amplifying their call for the governor to resign.

Their reactions came before Northam, 59, who is white, said during a news conference Saturday that he was not in the photo on his page of the 1984 yearbook.

When pressed by the caucus, Northam said he did not know which person he was in the photo - the person in blackface or the person in the KKK outfit. "I'm asking on the opportunity to earn your forgiveness".

Several high-profile Democrats, including a handful of those who announced interest in a 2020 presidential run, called for the governor's resignation. Bernie Sanders, both waited until Saturday morning to issue resignation calls.

Demonstrators hold signs and chant outside the Governor's Mansion in Richmond, Va., Feb. 2, 2019. "An apology now isn't enough".

He said he did not know why it appeared on his page, adding: "I had nothing to do with the preparation of the yearbook, nor did I buy one". He said he believed Northam wasn't in that photo and that he didn't think the governor was a racist.

Democrats may also be feeling increased pressure to deal with the scandal, Sabato said, as they want to prove they do not tolerate this sort of behavior, which has been compared to acts by President Trump.

His lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax, is only the second African American elected to statewide office in Virginia.

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