Virginia Governor, Ralph Northam, Defies Calls to Resign Over Racist Photo

If Mr. Northam does finally resign, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who’s black, would turn out to be the state’s governor. Mr. Fairfax broke his silence after the governor’s information convention, however didn’t straight urge him to keep or go, saying in an announcement that “we must make decisions in the best interests of the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

The governor mentioned he had spoken with Mr. Fairfax, 39, a number of instances because the yearbook picture first emerged. “I plan to continue to lead,” Mr. Northam mentioned, earlier than barely opening the likelihood that he might give up. “If we get to the point that we feel we are not effective, we are not efficient,” he mentioned, he would “revisit this.”

That risk grew way more probably shortly earlier than 7 p.m. Eastern time, when Mr. Warner, Mr. Kaine and Mr. Scott, an African-American who’s the dean of the state’s congressional delegation, issued their assertion.

“Governor Northam has served the people of the Commonwealth faithfully for many years, but the events of the past 24 hours have inflicted immense pain and irrevocably broken the trust Virginians must have in their leaders,” mentioned the three lawmakers, who initially resisted calling on the governor to give up. “He should step down and allow the Commonwealth to begin healing.”

Mr. Northam, standing subsequent to his spouse Pam on the information convention, spoke earnestly and was seemingly impervious to the wave of condemnation that the had spawned. He appeared decide to keep his innocence, and mentioned he would use the controversy as one thing of a teachable second within the state the place slaves first arrived 400 years in the past.

Speaking to reporters for over 40 minutes as a handful of protesters gathered outdoors the state capitol demanding that he resign, the 59-year-old governor mentioned he needed to have “an trustworthy dialog about racial justice.’’

Mr. Northam referred to as the picture of two males “offensive, racist and despicable.” But he mentioned, “I cannot in good conscience choose the path that would be easier, for me to duck my responsibility to reconcile.”

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