X

Governor: That Was Not Me

"That is not my picture," says Gov. Ralph Northam
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 2, 2019 12:01 PM CST
This image shows Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s page in his 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook.   (Eastern Virginia Medical School via AP)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Virginia's governor on Saturday vowed to remain in office despite widespread calls for his resignation after a racist photo surfaced on a school yearbook page, the AP reports. His refusal to step down could signal a potentially long and bruising fight between Northam and his former supporters. Northam said at a news conference he had prematurely apologized for appearing in what he called a "horrific" picture of a person in blackface and another wearing a Ku Klux Klan outfit. The photo appeared on Northam's profile page in his 1984 medical school yearbook. The Democratic governor said he had never even seen the yearbook before Friday and that he was blindsided by what was on his page.

"That is not my picture. That is not my person in that picture," Northam told reporters at the Executive Mansion in Richmond. While he acknowledged apologizing on Friday, Northam said he had no actual recollection of wearing such racist garb. He spoke to classmates from medical school who agreed. He said he was in the process of obtaining a yearbook so that he could try to determine how the photo even got on his profile page. It remained unclear whether Northam's remarks would calm the wave of criticism sparked by the yearbook's contents. Before he spoke, the Virginia Democratic Party was among those who issued a statement demanding Northam's immediate resignation. (Florida's secretary of state resigned in January over blackface photos.)

My Take on This Story
Show results  |  
24%
7%
6%
6%
2%
55%