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Northam does not resign

03 February 2019

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) did not resign Saturday, saying he believes he is not one of the people in a 1984 medical school yearbook photo in which one person is dressed in blackface and another is wearing a full Ku Klux Klan costume.

Northam said he does not believe he is either person in the racist photo that appeared in his 1984 yearbook but that he did once darken his face to resemble Michael Jackson during a dance contest in 1984.

The yearbook images were first published by the conservative news outlet Big League Politics.

The Virginian-Pilot newspaper tweeted a picture of the page which it said it obtained from the medical school library.

Ralph Northam is facing calls to resign from both sides of the aisle after a picture showing him and another person dressed in blackface and a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) outfit emerged on February 1.

Northam, who was recently elected in 2017 and whose term expires in 2022, appealed to his constituents for forgiveness, saying he was "ready to do the hard work of regaining" Virginians' trust.

Despite numerous calls for him to resign, Northam said he would try to win over those who want him out.

In a statement Friday, Virginia House Democrats said they were "deeply saddened by the news" and "are no longer confident in the Governor's representation of Virginians".

His quote is given as: 'There are more old drunks than old doctors in this world so I think I'll have another beer'.

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"Governor Northam has lost all moral authority and should resign immediately", former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat weighing a 2020 presidential run, said on Twitter. It is unclear which of the men pictured is Northam, then 25, who is in the middle of his first term as governor.

"Ralph Northam is my friend and he served well as my Lt. Governor and as Governor".

A wave of outrage swept the political field with both Republicans and Democrats demanding that Northam resign.

The state's two Democratic senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, also condemned the photos, but were more subtle in their comments about what Northam should do.

"He should have said that yesterday, then", she said. One wore blackface and the other donned a Ku Klux Klan outfit. He said he'll convene a meeting of leadership and others to address the issue.

The Democratic governor said on Saturday that he, in fact, was not in the photo and had never even seen the yearbook until Friday. He's a member of a predominantly black church on Virginia's Eastern Shore, where he grew up. "That's not something that you build overnight", Northam told the AP during a 2017 campaign stop while describing his relationship with the black community. "That is not the same as deserving the confidence bestowed in our elected officials", tweeted Guy Cecil, the chairman of Priorities USA.

Northam does not resign