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Embattled Governor 'Now Considering Resignation'

Ralph Northam met with senior staffers Sunday night
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2019 3:13 AM CST
Updated Feb 4, 2019 5:16 AM CST
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam pauses during a news conference in the Governor's Mansion in Richmond, Va., on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
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(Newser) – Ralph Northam was still the governor of Virginia as of Sunday night—but with dozens of his fellow Democrats calling for him to step down over a racist photo in his 1984 medical school yearbook, few observers expect him to last another week. Sources tell the Washington Post that Northam held a meeting with senior staff Sunday night and will hold another one with administration staff Monday morning. The insiders say that during the "emotional" meeting, Northam admitted for the first time that he is actively considering resignation, though no decision was made. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who would become governor if Northam stepped down, was not present, the sources say.

At a press conference Saturday, Northam reversed earlier statements and said he was neither the person in blackface nor the person in a KKK outfit in the photo, though he admitted he had blackened his face to look like Michael Jackson in a 1984 dance contest. The Post's sources say some of Northam's remaining supporters are trying to find evidence that he was not in the photo. Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe called for Northam, who served as his lieutenant governor, to step down regardless, the AP reports. "It doesn’t matter whether he was in the photo or not in the photo at this point," he told CNN's State of the Union on Sunday. "We have to close that chapter." (Read more Ralph Northam stories.)

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