RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on the blackface and sexual assault allegations involving Virginia’s top three Democrats (all times local):
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says he thought about resigning in the days after a racist yearbook photo surfaced.
The embattled Democrat told Gayle King of CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday that “Yes, I have thought about resigning.” But he said he’s in a position to lead and that “Virginia needs someone that can heal.”
He added: “That’s why I’m not going anywhere.”
Northam said now is the time to take action and to employ government policies to address racial inequalities in the state.
Northam has been ignoring widespread calls to resign. A photo of a man in blackface standing next to someone in Ku Klux Klan robes surfaced in his 1984 medical school yearbook. He denies he’s in the photo, but has admitted to wearing blackface as part of a Michael Jackson costume that same year.
Virginia’s embattled lieutenant governor is urging authorities to investigate sexual assault allegations made against him, but he is not heeding calls to resign and it’s unclear what comes next for the once-rising star of the state Democratic Party.
Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax on Saturday issued a statement repeating his strong denials that he had ever sexually assaulted anyone. He also made clear he does not intend to immediately resign.
At least one state lawmaker is calling for impeachment proceedings to begin, but there’s little sign of a broad appetite for impeachment. Lawmakers are set to finish this year’s legislative session by the end of the month.
If an impeachment hearing does occur, though, an attorney for one of Fairfax’s accusers says her client is willing to testify that Fairfax raped her while they were college students in 2000.