An official for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam denied the claim that the Democratic politician is considering a party switch following calls for his resignation over a racist yearbook picture.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Northam “toyed with the idea” of governing the state as an independent for the “past several days.” Northam reportedly expected Democrats to give him the benefit of the doubt over a picture — which showed one person in blackface and the other in a Ku Klux Klan costume — that appeared under Northam’s name in the Eastern Virginia Medical School’s 1984 yearbook.
The Daily Caller News Foundation contacted Northam’s office Wednesday to confirm if the governor had any thoughts about switching parties.
“That is false,” press secretary for Virginia’s Office of the Governor Alena Yarmosky told TheDCNF over email.
Northam apologized in a Friday statement for appearing in the photo, but denied being in the picture on Saturday during a press conference. He revealed in the same press conference, however, that he used shoe polish in a separate instance to darken his face as part of a Michael Jackson costume. (RELATED: Staffer Of Northam’s Yearbook Says Students Chose Their Personal Yearbook Page Photos)
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) February 2, 2019
The following are some of the organizations and people who have called on Northam to resign:
- Former Democratic Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder
- Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine
- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
- Planned Parenthood
- The Black Caucus
Two unnamed sources close to Northam said the governor took the blame because the public was asking for a statement and he felt a sense of responsibility, according to WaPo. Northam allegedly held doubts about being in the picture, however.
State Republican Sen. Richard Stuart is believed to be Northam’s sole defender in the legislatures, WaPo reported.
“I know he is somebody of honor and integrity, and he is going to clear his name on this,” Stuart said, according to WaPo.
Stuart did not respond to TheDCNF’s requests for comment.
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