Governor Northam Continues to Lose Key Support Saturday, Future in Doubt

Best of Ralph Northam's victory speech

Northam, a Democrat who was elected to the office of governor in 2018's election, quickly faced calls to resign from within his own party.

The Democratic Governor of the U.S. state of Virginia is resisting mounting calls to resign, backflipping on an earlier admission that he featured in an old yearbook photo featuring a man wearing a Ku Klux Klan outfit.

The photo appeared in his 1984 medical school yearbook.

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

The Virginian-Pilot newspaper tweeted a picture of the page which it said it obtained from the medical school library.

Northam's page in the 1984 yearbook from Eastern Virginia Medical School shows a picture of a person in blackface and another wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood.

The Democratic governor publicly confirmed he was one of the two people in the photo, but did not identify which individual he was.

Mr Northam said he was not asking for forgiveness for his past actions but for "the opportunity to demonstrate without a shadow of a doubt that the person I was then is not the person I am today".

California Senator Kamala Harris, another African-American running for president, tweeted that "the stain of racism should have no place in the halls of government".

Democratic presidential contenders Sen.

If Northam were to heed the calls of those prominent Democrats looking to pressure him into stepping down, Justin Fairfax, the 39-year old, African American lieutenant governor, would be elevated to governor.

Northam made the shocking abortion remarks in an interview with WTOP-FM on Wednesday, as he attempted to explain a Democrat delegate's earlier remarks supporting a bill relaxing restrictions on late-term abortions.

On Saturday morning, while a small group of protesters stood outside the Virginia governor's mansion, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders joined the chorus insisting on Northam's resignation. Northam said his campaign would never run such an ad, but he refused to condemn it and reported it as an "in-kind" contribution to his campaign.

Julian Castro, who's the former San Antonio mayor and Obama cabinet member who has also made a 2020 Democratic presidential bid, also said the Virginia governor should resign.

The photo appears on a page labeled "Ralph Shearer Northam" alongside other pictures of Northam, including a headshot, a photo of him kneeling in a cowboy hat, and another of him sitting next to a Corvette.

Northam then defended her comments.

"We agree with the powerful words of our colleagues in the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus and believe that because of this photo the Governor has lost the confidence of the citizens he serves". Mr Northam said in an apology yesterday that he was "deeply sorry" for the hurt that his decision has caused but did not specify which costume he was wearing in the photo. He said he'll convene a meeting of leadership and others to address the issue. Elaine Luria and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia; the NAACP and Planned Parenthood.

The governor's race that Northam won was fraught with racial animosity, with Republican candidates courting Donald Trump's voting base through hardline immigration stances.

The pictures, which have triggered public outcry, show a man in blackface and another man in Ku Klux Klan robes.

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