UPDATE: Lawmakers, leaders call for Governor Northam to resign

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The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus released a statement late Friday night after meeting with Governor Ralph Northam.

The organization wrote, "We just finished meeting with the Governor. We fully appreciate all that he has contributed to our Commonwealth. But given what was revealed today, it is clear that he can no longer effectively serve as Governor. It is time for him to resign, so that Virginia can begin the process of healing."

Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has also spoken out about the controversy, tweeting "This has been a heartbreaking day. Ralph Northam is my friend and he served well as my Lt. Governor and as Governor. His actions on display in this photo were racist, unacceptable and inexcusable at any age and any time."

McAuliffe went on to write "The situation that he has put himself and the Commonwealth of Virginia in is untenable. It's time for Ralph to step down, and for the Commonwealth to move forward."


Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine have released statements addressing a Northam yearbook photo that shows two men in blackface and a KKK robe.

Senator Mark Warner said "This photo is shocking and deeply offensive, all the more so because of Virginia's long and painful history of racism and violence toward African Americans. The Governor must now listen to the people and communities he has hurt, and carefully consider what comes next."

Senator Tim Kaine also released a statement, writing, “The racist photo from Governor Northam’s 1984 yearbook is horrible. This causes pain in a state and a country where centuries of racism have already left an open wound."

"I hope the Governor—whose career as an Army officer, pediatrician and public official has always manifested a commitment to justice and equality for all—now takes the time to listen to those he has hurt and reflect on how to move forward,” Kaine continued.


The Roanoke City Democratic Committee tells WDBJ7 they are calling for Governor Ralph Northam to resign.

Northam released a video Friday night after a yearbook photo surfaced, showing men in blackface and KKK robes.

Republican leaders in Virginia and around the United States have also weighed in.

Republican Governors Association Chairman Governor Pete Ricketts released this statement Friday night:

“Ralph Northam has failed the people of Virginia. From condoning infanticide earlier this week to the release of his racist yearbook photo, it is clear that he does not share the values of the people of the Commonwealth. Virginians deserve better. Ralph Northam must resign.”


Governor Ralph Northam has released a statement addressing a yearbook photo from 1984 that began circulating Friday showing two men in blackface and a KKK robe.

The Governor apologized, saying in part, "I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now."

Northam did not specify which man in the photo is him.

Several Republican General Assembly leaders released a statement Friday afternoon, writing: “This is a deeply disturbing and offensive photograph in need of an immediate explanation by the Governor.”

You can read Northam's full statement below:

“Earlier today, a website published a photograph of me from my 1984 medical school yearbook in a costume that is clearly racist and offensive.

“I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now.

“This behavior is not in keeping with who I am today and the values I have fought for throughout my career in the military, in medicine, and in public service. But I want to be clear, I understand how this decision shakes Virginians’ faith in that commitment.

“I recognize that it will take time and serious effort to heal the damage this conduct has caused. I am ready to do that important work. The first step is to offer my sincerest apology and to state my absolute commitment to living up to the expectations Virginians set for me when they elected me to be their Governor.”


A medical yearbook picture from a page featuring Virginia Governor Ralph Northam showing two men, one in blackface, and one in a KKK robe, surfaced Friday.

The photo appears on the same page that features several pictures of Northam.

The picture first surfaced after a right-wing blog posted it on Twitter.

Northam's office has not released any comment at this time.

Northam received national attention this week over comments he made in support of a bill that would have reduced some restrictions on third-trimester abortions.

WDBJ7 is working to learn more about this developing story.

Stay with WDBJ7 for updates.

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