Earlier this month, on February 1, a photo from Northam's medical school yearbook was resurfaced, appearing to show the politician and another person wearing racist costumes - with one dressed in blackface and another wearing KKK robes, according to The Virginian-Pilot. "There's no better person to do that than a doctor", the governor said.
The state capitol has been plunged into turmoil by the twin scandals.
A Virginia lawmaker is now suggesting he won't move forward Monday with plans to introduce an impeachment bill seeking the ouster of Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax.
If the governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general all left office or were removed, the speaker of the House would become governor. They also noted she would be able to provide "at least two witnesses whom Ms. Watson told of the assault the day after Fairfax raped her".
Northam said the humbling week and the late-in-life conversations about race have made him determined to refocus his governorship, but it seemed plain that he is just beginning to think through what that might mean.
Another black lawmaker, who he also declined to name, made a powerful point about white privilege, Northam said: That a white person who makes a mistake gets a second chance, while a black person might not.
"Fairfax can no longer fulfill his duties", the Democratic caucuses of both the state House and Senate said in a joint statement.
Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) said he will not step down and will preside over the Senate Monday regardless of any attempts to remove him from office amid allegations that he sexually assaulted two women.
Fairfax, meanwhile, insists that his experiences with the women were consensual. Calls for Northam's resignation raised the prospect of Fairfax taking over, which prompted his accusers to come forward.
Governor Ralph Northam has dug himself so far into a hole I'm not sure who can rescue him.
"Also known as slavery", CBS's Gayle King interjected.
"I have learned from this, I have a lot more to learn, but we're in a unique opportunity now - again, the 400-year anniversary of the history, whether it be good or bad, in Virginia - to really make some impactful changes".
Most of Virginia's Democratic Congressional delegation and prominent national Democrats, including 2020 presidential candidates, called for the governor to resign after the racist photograph surfaced.
If the Legislature is in session, the House would need a simple majority to vote to impeach Fairfax, said A.E. Dick Howard, a University of Virginia law professor. "The first step is to offer my sincerest apology and to state my absolute commitment to living up to the expectations Virginians set for me when they elected me to be their Governor", he added.
If Fairfax were to leave, it's unclear who could replace him as lieutenant governor.
Virginia slid deeper into crisis on Wednesday, when Attorney General Mark Herring acknowledged wearing blackface at a college party in 1980, and Fairfax was publicly accused of sexual assault for the first time.