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Black leaders: Stop telling Northam to resign

12 February, 2019, 03:30 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • Pastor Lacette Cross speaks during a protest calling for Governor Ralph Northam to resign on Monday
Credit
Shelby Lum

But wait, Northam isn't done prattling on: "Virginia needs someone that can heal".

Asked whether he would resign, Mr Northam said: "I'm not going anywhere".

The gaffe came as Northam fights to regain public trust after a photo from his medical school yearbook page showed a person in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan outfit. Northam had later acknowledged he wore blackface at a separate event in the 1980s, dressing up as Michael Jackson for a dance contest. Northam has denied his appearance in the photo.

"We take the allegations against Justin very seriously". "There are still some very deep wounds in Virginia, and especially in the area of equity".

On Saturday, Fairfax issued a statement repeating his strong denials that he had ever sexually assaulted anyone and made clear he does not intend to immediately step down and says he is calling for authorities, including the FBI, to investigate.

With Northam and Fairfax running out their political life spans, the party's left with Mark Herring, the state attorney general. Until a week ago, when the accusations had not yet been leveled against him, it appeared that he might become governor if Northam, who is white, acceded to wide demands from Republicans and Democrats alike that he resign.

- With files from the Associated Press.

At that point Gayle King, who had started things off by simply asking Northam where he wanted to begin, interrupted him to say, "Also known as slavery".

Party leaders in the state and across the nation have called for Northam and Fairfax to resign over the accusations against them.

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Gov. Ralph Northam tells @GayleKing: "I have thought about resigning, but I've also thought about what Virginia needs right now".

Fairfax has denied the allegations, said he does not intend to immediately resign and called for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other authorities to investigate.

Fairfax's spokeswoman Lauren Burke issued a statement in response that reads, "The Lt. Governor is aggressively exploring options for a thorough, independent, and impartial investigation of these allegations".

Northam, now a year into his four-year term, announced his intention to stay at an afternoon Cabinet meeting, according to a senior official who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Since a second woman came forward Friday with a sexual assault claim against him, the lieutenant governor has been asked to resign by the Democratic Party of Virginia, Sen. Days later, a second woman, Meredith Watson, accused Fairfax of raping her while they were students at Duke in 2000.

Still, "a clear sign of the depth of LG Fairfax's political crisis is the near-absence of voices in Virginia politics this weekend publicly urging him to remain in office", University of Mary Washington political science professor Stephen Farnsworth said in an email. Beyer said if you believe the women, there is "no choice" but to call for Fairfax's resignation.

"I overreacted", he said.

Ralph Northam in an interview that took place Sunday and is set to air on Monday said slaves in America were indentured servants - amid the ongoing controversy over his racist past. He's a Republican, which is giving the Democratic officerholders another reason to try to keep their positions.

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