NAACP, Democratic leaders call for Gov. Northam to resign as he vows to finish term

Posted at 8:05 PM, Feb 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-01 23:38:59-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Progressive advocacy groups and prominent Democrats are calling for Gov. Ralph Northam to resign after a photograph in his medical school yearbook pictured him and another man donning black face and Klansmen robes. Despite such calls, Northam vowed to see out his term until the end as detailed in a video statement posted on the Governor's twitter account Friday evening.

Shortly after Northam confirmed and apologized for the photo in a statement released Friday evening, NAACP president Derrick Johnson tweeted, “Black face in any manner is always racist and never okay. No matter the party affiliation, we can not stand for such behavior, which is why the NAACP is calling for the resignation of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam."

The fallout continued on Twitter as prominent Democratic party members including US Reps Brendan Boyle (D-California), Rohit Khanna (D-California), and Ted Lieu (D-California)  tweeted their support for the calls for resignation.

Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro also vocalized his his belief that Northam should resign, writing, "It doesn’t matter if he is a Republican or a Democrat. This behavior was racist and unconscionable. Governor Northam should resign."

U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris also stated her support for Northam's resignation via Twitter.

Charles Chamberlain, head of progressive PAC Democracy for America, also issued a statement affirming the group's stance that Northam should resign.

"After his refusal this evening to be completely transparent about his past actions, it's clear that Ralph Northam has no business remaining Governor of Virginia," Chamberlain wrote. "Whether it happened yesterday or thirty-five years ago, the Democratic Party of 2019 has no place for people in positions of power with a history of racist actions. Ralph Northam should resign from his office immediately."

In a statement released Friday evening, Northam wrote, “I recognize that it will take time and serious effort to heal the damage this conduct has caused. I am ready to do that important work. The first step is to offer my sincerest apology and to state my absolute commitment to living up to the expectations Virginians set for me when they elected me to be their Governor.”