Published: Wed, February 06, 2019
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

VA lawmaker who's known Northam for a decade: He 'cannot effectively govern'

VA lawmaker who's known Northam for a decade: He 'cannot effectively govern'

As demands intensified for him to step down over the discovery of a racist photo on Northam's 1984 medical school yearbook page, he retreated to his family home near the village of Onancock with his wife, Pam, to reflect on the situation, according to one person who has been in contact with the governor. He added that "I cannot change the decisions I made, nor can I undo the harm my behavior caused then and today". "I am not the person in that photo".

And NJ Governor Phil Murphy called on Northam to resign.

Northam faces calls to resign from top Democrats in Congress and virtually every elected Republican and Democratic leader in Virginia.

SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: While the Sunday morning talk shows were speculating about the future of Ralph Northam's governorship, in Virginia, this morning, lots of people were in church. And so did Donald Trump. Pelosi said Northam should "do the right thing" by stepping down and letting Virginians "heal and move forward".

"I have zero indication of that", he said.

When the photograph from Northam's Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook surfaced Friday, his first reaction was to issue a statement of abject apology. It's not something you forget to be standing there with a blackface on and someone with a Ku Klux Klan robes on. Northam first admitted he was in the picture without saying which costume he was wearing, and apologized.

Host Jake Tapper noted the nickname "Coonman" appeared in Northam's Virginia Military Institute yearbook and cited other examples before asking McAuliffe if Northam is racist.

During Saturday's news conference, Northam disclosed that he had once applied shoe polish to his face as part of a Michael Jackson costume that he wore when he won a dance competition in 1984. He said he's never worn a KKK uniform. "I think we've done this several times and we retreat into our corners where we're most comfortable and it just exacerbates the tribalism that confronts society today".

Virginians continue to struggle with the state's legacy of slavery, Jim Crow and Massive Resistance, the anti-school segregation push.

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Ralph Northam remained in power Monday but is having a hard time finding allies, begging his Cabinet members to give him the chance to prove he was not the person pictured in a racist photo that surfaced Friday. He said the school was convening an "urgent meeting" of senior leadership and board members.

In concert with our Board of Visitors' leadership, I will direct that an external investigation be conducted as soon as possible to review all of our past yearbooks, determine the processes for publishing those yearbooks; discover what, if any, administrative oversight was exercised; examine our campus culture; and provide recommendations for future actions. Jesse Jackson was running for president. But he said he was prepared to take over the governorship if Northam resigns.

G. HARRIS: He really should not have had that press conference yesterday.

On Sunday, delegate Lamont Bagby, who leads the caucus, declined to discuss on ABC whether impeachment proceedings would be pursued against Northam if he doesn't quit. A day later, resignation is an active consideration, the people said. "Coonman", he said, was used by only two people and he didn't know why.

Many prominent politicians have called for his resignation.

"Ralph Northam should resign", said presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg in a statement to CNN. And he didn't believe the governor's second statement denying he appeared in the photo.

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