'I'm not going anywhere': Virginia Gov. resists calls to step down over racist photo
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam told CBS Sunday morning that he’s “not going anywhere,” days after a racist yearbook photo resurfaced.
The Democratic governor told Gayle King on CBS’ Face the Nation that, “Yes, I have thought about resigning.” But he said he’s in a position to lead and that “Virginia needs someone that can heal.”
“I’m not going anywhere” — Northam tells CBS, saying he’s learned from this episode and is eager to grow from it.
Say he has thought about resigning but thinks he’s in a position to take Virginia “to the next level"
— Sam Stein (@samstein) February 10, 2019
He added, “That’s why I’m not going anywhere.”
Northam has been ignoring widespread calls to resign after a photo of a man in blackface standing next to someone in Ku Klux Klan robes surfaced in his 1984 medical school yearbook.
He’s denied being in the photo but has admitted to wearing blackface as part of a Michael Jackson costume that same year.
Northam at first admitted to being in the picture on Feb. 1, but denied it a day later.
The governor sat for an interview with the Washington Post on Saturday, during which he pledged to heal the state’s deep racial divide
“It’s obvious from what happened this week that we still have a lot of work to do,” Northam said in the interview, conducted at the Executive Mansion. “There are still some very deep wounds in Virginia, and especially in the area of equity.”
Virginia’s Lt. Gov. Anthony Fairfax has also come under fire in recent weeks for multiple sexual assault allegations made against him but has also ignored calls to resign. The lieutenant governor released a statement Saturday repeating his strong denials that he ever sexually assaulted anyone.
WATCH: Virginia’s Senate Majority Leader takes heat over racist photos in yearbook he once managed
Since the discovery of the photo, Attorney General Mark Herring, who had previously been calling for both officials’ resignations, has since acknowledged wearing blackface at a college party in 1980. Herring would become governor should both Northam and Fairfax step down.
If Northam, Fairfax and Herring resign, Kirk Cox, the Republican Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, would become governor.
— With files from the Associated Press.