Embattled Virginia Governor to Give Presser Saturday Afternoon

2:30 P.M. EST

by Sharon Rondeau

(Feb. 2, 2019) — Late Saturday morning, the Associated Press reported that Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam will speak at a press conference at 2:30 EST regarding a page from a 1984 medical school yearbook bearing his name and several photos, one of which depicts a person in “blackface” and another dressed as a Ku Klux Klan member.

The now-infamous yearbook page became public mid-afternoon Friday and was independently verified by The Washington Post and The Virginian-Pilot, those outlets reported Friday.

According to the AP, a state Democratic legislator believes that Northam is expected to say he no longer believes he is one of the two individuals appearing in the offensive photo.  The Virginian-Pilot reported that update as well late Saturday morning.

On Friday night, Northam issued two statements in which he acknowledged that he did appear in the photo in question, although he did not say in which position. Because of makeup and costuming, the individuals posing for the photo are unidentifiable.

Northam reportedly now may claim he has “proof” that he is not either of the individuals posturing for the camera that day, the AP said.  It is unclear whether the AP has one or two sources making that claim.

The 59-year-old former pediatric neurologist was lieutenant governor under Terry McAuliffe and elected governor in November 2017 to a four-year term. He has thus far indicated he will not resign despite growing calls from both Democrats and Republicans within and outside of Virginia for him to do so.

His comments made during a Wednesday radio show regarding a highly-controversial bill proposed by a first-term state House delegate which failed in committee did not result in the same outcry from politicos as the yearbook photo. However, many private organizations, individuals and political figures condemned his remarks, made during a radio broadcast, which to them appeared to condone “infanticide.”

Northam said he had “no regrets” about his analysis of the bill but that he found “the personal insults” directed toward him “disgusting.”

Perhaps ironically, Planned Parenthood, which campaigned for Northam, spending a reported $3 million, called for his resignation on Friday.  The Post additionally reported that an entry in Northam’s military institute yearbook indicated one of his nicknames at the time as “Coonman,” thought by some to have indicated racism.

 

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