United States governor Ralph Northam ´deeply sorry´ for racist yearbook photo

United States governor Ralph Northam ´deeply sorry´ for racist yearbook photo

United States governor Ralph Northam ´deeply sorry´ for racist yearbook photo

"We made the decision to let Governor Northam do the correct thing and resign this morning", the Virginia branch of the Democratic Party said on Twitter Saturday.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam on Saturday resisted mounting pressure from his Democratic party that he resign, denying that he appeared in a racist yearbook photo while admitting he once wore blackface in a dance contest.

Northam was an adult while attending Eastern Virginia Medical School in 1984.

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

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is planning a news conference where he's expected to say he's not resigning and believes he was not in a racist picture featured in his 1984 medical yearbook. The page shows a picture, at right, of a person in blackface and another wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood next to different pictures of the governor.

A political expert said the initial reaction to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's latest statement on the racist photo that appeared in his 1984 yearbook may not be enough to save his governorship.

The Democratic governor, however, appeared determined to hold onto his office and serve out the remainder of his four-year term, which began in January 2018.

Northam acknowledged, too, that it will take "time and serious effort to heal the damage this conduct has caused", but said he is ready to take on that "important" work.

While Fairfax did not explicitly call for the Northam's resignation - several other lawmakers, including multiple 2020 presidential candidates, have done so since the photo emerged - he said he couldn't "condone the actions from his past". "He just told me he didn't think it's him".

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Democratic Senator from NY and presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand said "Americans deserve to be respected by their leaders" and that racism could not be excused in government or anywhere else. The Virginia Democratic Party issued a statement demanding Northam's immediate resignation. Northam's term was set to end in 2022. "Governor Northam should resign".

Mr Northam said he recognised that people would find this "hard to believe".

Virginia Democrats said Saturday morning that they had heard Northam would not resign, after all, despite their urging him to do so.

The Ku Klux Klan is one of the oldest and most infamous hate groups in the U.S., and has targeted African Americans, Jews, Catholics and immigrants, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups.

"He should have said that yesterday, then", she said. "The EVMS library is open to the public and does provide access to its materials", an Eastern Virginia Medical School spokesperson told WUSA9 reporter Mike Valerio. The Democratic governor admitted that he was in the controversial photo, but did not say which character he was.

"There's no question the tide turned", said one ally, who had been briefed by the governor's senior staff.

The former vice-president then offered support for the lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax, who is line to take the governorship if Northam resigns.

Northam spent years actively courting the black community in the lead up to his 2017 gubernatorial run, building relationships that helped him win both the primary and the general election.

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