VA lawmakers, political groups react to Gov. Northam racist photo controversy

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RICHMOND, Va. (GRAY DC) -- UPDATED: Former Gov. Doug Wilder now says Gov. Northam should leave office. On Twitter, Saturday evening, he wrote, "I stated, earlier, that Gov. Northam’s continuing in office was his choice to make. It is difficult for anyone who watched the press conference today to conclude that he has any other choice ... but to resign."


Va lawmakers, political groups react to Gov. Ralph Northam's racist photo controversy. Friday, a racist yearbook photo and caption emerged on his page, leading to numerous bipartisan calls for his resignation.

Now Virginia Democratic Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, along with Congressman Bobby Scott, echo those calls. A statement released by the VA Democratic leaders says, "After we watched his press conference today, we called Governor Northam to tell him that we no longer believe he can effectively serve as Governor of Virginia and that he must resign. Governor Northam has served the people of the Commonwealth faithfully for many years, but the events of the past 24 hours have inflicted immense pain and irrevocably broken the trust Virginians must have in their leaders. He should step down and allow the Commonwealth to begin healing.”

The VA Legislative Black Caucus, VA Democratic Party and numerous other leaders called for his resignation.

Former Virginia Democratic Governor Doug Wilder, the first African-American person elected Governor in U.S. history, stopped short of calling for Northam to quit.

Over Twitter, Wilder said, in part, "It has never been right, in Virginia, nor anywhere else to participate in or condone such mockery or insensitive behavior and for that Gov. Northam should be criticized. This is not about politics or personal relationships, this is about government “of the people, for the people and by the people” – ALL of the people. The choice of his continuing in office is his to make."

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