Politics

‘A Governor Who Has Achieved Many Important Goals’: Virginia Democrat Says Ralph Northam Should Stay

(Photo by Alex Edelman/Getty Images)

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Peter Hasson Senior Reporter

Democratic Virginia state Sen. Chap Petersen won’t be calling on Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam to resign, Petersen announced in a written statement Friday.

“I will not request the Governor’s resignation. Nor will I request any other official to resign until it is obvious that they have committed a crime in office or their ability to serve is irredeemably compromised,” Petersen wrote on Facebook.

Petersen said he spoke to “as many constituents and friends as possible, in order to arrive at a proportional response towards a Governor who has achieved many important goals, such as Medicaid expansion.”

(Photo by Alex Edelman/Getty Images)

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, flanked by his wife Pam Northam, speaks with reporters at a press conference at the governor’s mansion on Feb. 2, 2019 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Alex Edelman/Getty Images)

Democrats initially rushed to demand Northam’s resignation but are now caught in a quagmire as the next two Democrats in line for the Virginia governorship, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and Attorney General Mark Herring, are each battling scandals of their own.

Herring admitted to wearing blackface in 1980, while Fairfax is accused of sexually assaulting Vanessa Tyson, now a fellow at Stanford University, at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

Virginia Speaker of the House Kirk Cox, a Republican, is fourth in line for Northam’s seat.

REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Virginia Gov.-elect Ralph Northam (C) celebrates with Lt. Gov.-elect Justin Fairfax and Attorney General Mark Herring at his election night rally on the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, Nov. 7, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Petersen didn’t refer to Fairfax or Herring directly but noted “revelations and allegations about other statewide officials” in his explanation for backing Northam. (RELATED: Nine Times The Media Pushed Misinformation About Brett Kavanaugh)

“Within minutes of our Senate Sentinel going out last Friday, I learned about a photo in the Governor’s 1984 medical school yearbook, which truly shocked the conscience. That revelation, exacerbated by a confused explanation, culminated in nearly every elected Virginia Democrat calling for the Governor’s resignation within 48 hours,” Petersen wrote.

“Events then compounded later in the week with revelations and allegations about other statewide officials,” he added. “These revelations were relevant towards the Governor’s situation if only because they reflect on his potential successors and whether they can assume the office.”

Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson

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