Virginia governor vows not to resign over racist incident

Virginia governor vows not to resign over racist incident

Virginia governor vows not to resign over racist incident

Ralph Northam refuses to resign despite growing backlash over a picture on his medical school yearbook page featuring a man wearing blackface and another person in a Ku Klux Klan outfit.

He is among the top three Democrats in the state who have been rocked by scandal in the past couple of weeks.

Patrick Hope, a Democrat from Arlington, said on Twitter that he plans to introduce articles of impeachment on Monday.

Meanwhile, the lieutenant governor did not make any public appearances Saturday and released his statement late in the day, after Republican state House Speaker Kirk Cox and the Democratic Party of Virginia joined a chorus of other calls for Fairfax to resign.

The woman, identified as Meredith Watson, claims Fairfax raped her in 2000 when they were both students at Duke University in North Carolina.

On CBS's Sunday morning Face the Nation, Mr Northam said: "I really think that I'm in a position where I can take Virginia to the next level".

At that point Gayle King, who had started things off by simply asking Northam where he wanted to begin, interrupted him to say, "Also known as slavery". In his first press conference after the photos surfaced, Northam nervously made jokes about how hard it is to wash off shoe polish and almost attempted the moonwalk.

"Fairfax can no longer fulfill his duties", the Democratic caucuses of both the state House and Senate said in a joint statement.

Northam said that Fairfax would have to step aside if sexual assault allegations against him were found to be true. And majority did not know enough about Fairfax's response to the allegations to feel strongly about it. Fairfax has said encounters with his accusers in 2000 and 2004 were consensual and has asked the FBI to investigate. Calls for Northam's resignation raised the prospect of Fairfax taking over, which prompted his accusers to come forward. "And that's why I'm not going anywhere", Northam says in the interview, which will air in full Monday on "CBS This Morning".

Northam told CBS it must have taken tremendous courage for the women to come forward, and that he supported Fairfax's call for an investigation.

GOVERNOR RALPH NORTHAM: Well, again we- we have worked very hard.

With Northam and Fairfax running out their political life spans, the party's left with Mark Herring, the state attorney general.

Northam has been in seclusion all week, using tunnels to shuttle between the mansion and the nearby building where he has an office.

Attorneys for a woman who has accused Virginia's embattled lieutenant governor of sexual assault say their client is "prepared to testify at impeachment proceedings and to cooperate with law enforcement in any investigation".

"That same year I did participate in a dance contest in San Antonio in which I darkened my face as part of a Michael Jackson costume", Northam said.

If Fairfax were to leave, it's unclear who could replace him as lieutenant governor.

Democratic Party leaders, outraged over the blackface incident but apparently not the infanticide comments, called for Northam to resign.

The top three Democrats in Virginia's state government are now dealing with various scandals - Gov. Ralph Northam and state Attorney General Mark Herring both admitted to having worn blackface in the 1980s.

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