RICHMOND, Va. - Gov. Ralph Northam (D) spoke with Gayle King on Monday about the controversy surrounding the racist photo that appeared in his EVMS yearbook, harping on why he will continue as the Governor of Virginia.
"Virginia needs someone that can heal," Northam said in the interview. "There's no better person to do that than a doctor. Virginia also needs someone who is strong, who has empathy, who has courage and who has a moral compass. And that's why I'm not going anywhere."
The photo in question, which appears on his page in an Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook from 1984, shows two people: one appearing to be dressed in blackface and another appearing to be a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
Democrats and Republicans at both the state and national level, including members of the Virginia House of Delegates, the Virginia Senate, the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate called for Northam's resignation following the photo's release.
Northam initially apologized for appearing in the photo, but said in a later statement that he did not believe either of the people in the photo were him.
Northam also commented on the separate scandals surrounding Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax and Attorney General Mark Herring. Fairfax has been accused of sexual assault in two separate accounts, and Herring admitted to dressing up in blackface for a costume party while in college.
"If these accusations are determined to be true, I don't think he's going to have any other option but to resign," Northam said of Fairfax. A Virginia delegate has announced that if Fairfax refuses to step down, he will introduce articles of impeachment against him.
He also did not call for Herring's resignation, saying, "I regret that our attorney general is in this position. But this is a decision that he's going to need to make."