Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has told his staff that he doesn't intend to resign his office, his communication director, Ofirah Yheskel, told NPR member station WCVE Friday. "If the three failing pols were Republicans, far stronger action would be taken".
The delegation - consisting of the state's two U.S. senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, and seven USA representatives - repeated its call for Northam to resign, and said the allegations against Fairfax "need to be taken very seriously", though it stopped short of demanding a formal investigation. And its leader noted that, while some Democrats initially demanded that Northam resign after the photo surfaced, there was a different response when Herring made his admission.
His disclosure stirred an outcry across partisan lines in Virginia, a key swing state in U.S. presidential politics whose seat of government, Richmond, is in many ways still grappling with its legacy as the former capital of the Confederacy during the American Civil War.
Fairfax vehemently denied that he assaulted Tyson, said he was the victim of a "smear" and has said repeatedly that they had a consensual encounter. The newspaper reported that the managing editor of the yearbook was none other than Virginia Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R). Northam additionally was revealed to have had a racist photo printed on his medical school yearbook page.
Fairfax, 39, noncommittal about whether Northam, 59, should resign, stands accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a Boston hotel room in 2004. "I deny this latest unsubstantiated allegation".
Northam, 59, and Herring, 57, both white, have apologized in recent days for separate incidents during the 1980s in which they darkened their faces to imitate black performers.
If Northam were to step down, the Democrats would lose the governorship to the Republican speaker of the House of Delegates, who is next in the line of succession.
I want to assure you that the business of the Commonwealth and our duty as public servants will continue.
Other pages contain racist epithets for African Americans, with one featuring a photo of students in blackface and another referring to student walking through a "stoop-n**** a href="https://www.facebook.com/senatortommynorment/photos/a.10150126206652698/10157128269632698/?type=3&theater" target="_blank" rel="noopener" *statement Thursday afternoon, Norment called blackface "abhorrent" and said he "emphatically" condemned it. I have never forced myself on anyone ever", he said.
"I am ready for an honest conversation about racial injustice. and real equality", Northam said during the news conference.
His call to resign was joined by Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton, a Democrat representing suburbs in northern Virginiaas well as by Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, a 2020 presidential candidate.
But as the scandal deepened, some prominent Democrats began taking more restrained positions. That pressure has tapered off as a cascade of scandals involving top politicians has rocked the state. "It's sad because they have some very talented leaders there".