Published: Tue, February 12, 2019
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Scandals Drive Calls for Top Virginia Leadership to Resign

Scandals Drive Calls for Top Virginia Leadership to Resign

The demonstrators are calling for the resignation of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam after a 30 year old photo of him on his medical school yearbook photo was widely distributed.

"A historian advised me that the use of indentured was more historically accurate-the fact is, I'm still learning and committed to getting it right", Northam said. "And that's why I'm not going anywhere".

Ralph Northam refuses to resign despite growing backlash over a picture on his medical school yearbook page featuring a man wearing blackface and another person in a Ku Klux Klan outfit.

After staying out of sight since he faced the press on February 2 to deny he was pictured in the racist photo on his yearbook page, but admitting that he had worn blackface on another occasion, Northam, 59, returned to the public eye to attend the funeral of a slain state trooper.

Ralph Northam says he has learned why blackface is offensive, after he admitted to darkening his face decades ago as part of a Michael Jackson costume.

"We take the allegations against Justin very seriously", Morrison & Foerster chairman Larren Nashelsky said in a statement to the The National Law Journal.

He says he'll "focus on race and equity" as his "commitment to Virginia" for the next three years.

Plans have meanwhile stalled to impeach Virginia's Lt Gov Justin Fairfax, who is accused of sexual assault.

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Fairfax issued a statement Saturday again denying the allegations and saying his encounters with the women were consensual. Herring would become governor should both Northam and Fairfax step down.

The possibility of all three top leaders of Virginia's executive branch having to resign raised the prospect of Democrats losing the governorship to the Republican speaker of the state House, who is next in the line of succession. The Associated Press does not generally name victims of alleged sexual assault, but both women have come forward voluntarily.

Asked for his opinion on his subordinates, Northam told CBS it's up to them to decide whether they want to stay. In a poll conducted late last week by The Washington Post and the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, respondents were evenly divided as to whether Northam should resign. Justin Fairfax (D) has placed him on leave pending an external investigation into sexual assault allegations leveled against him.

"I overreacted", he said.

"Fairfax can no longer fulfill his duties", the Democratic caucuses of both the state House and Senate said in a joint statement.

Many elected officials and presidential hopefuls have called for Fairfax to resign after two women went public with allegations of sexual assault this week.

But Hope remained steadfast in his calls for Fairfax to resign following the allegations raised on Friday by a second woman who claims Fairfax sexually assaulted her. Hope said he was "absolutely horrified" by the accusations and said he believes "both of these fearless women".

Northam's pledge Sunday to work on healing the state's racial divide was the second he made in as many days. Because it doesn't. To the contrary, every time Northam talks to a reporter, there's a serious risk - if not likelihood - that he'll say something false, absurd, assinine, tone-deaf, clueless and/or racially insensitive (at the minimum).

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