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The Latest: Photo stirs calls on Virginia governor to resign

February 4, 2019

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and racist photo in medical school yearbook (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

Virginia’s Democratic governor, Ralph Northam, is clinging to office amid rising calls from within his own party to resign over a photo of someone in blackface in his 1984 medical school yearbook.

Northan denies being in the yearbook photo even though he had apologized for it Friday and said previously that he was in it.

The chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus said Sunday that Northam “still does not understand the seriousness of his actions.”

California Rep. Karen Bass, a fellow Democrat, says she thinks Northam is being “dishonest.” She has told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the Virginia governor knew this picture was there and could’ve been open about it decades ago with African-Americans that he’s close to.

Northam worshipped Sunday at his home church, the predominantly black First Baptist in Capeville, but otherwise kept out of sight as calls intensified for him to step down.

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4:15 p.m.

A scandal over a 1984 medical school yearbook photo of someone wearing blackface is threatening to cripple the Virginia governor’s exercise of his duties.

Even if Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam doesn’t heed widespread calls to resign, he has lost the support of virtually all of the state’s Democratic establishment. Top Republicans in the Virginia General Assembly also are urging Northam to step down, as have many declared and potential Democratic presidential candidates.

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has said he thinks Northam — who served as his lieutenant governor — will eventually leave office.

McAuliffe said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that he expects Northam will eventually do what McAuliffe is calling “the right thing for the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

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11 a.m.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school says an investigation will be launched into all of its past yearbooks.

The president of Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk announced the investigation on the school’s website late Saturday.

Dr. Richard V. Homan said he will direct an external investigation by a “panel of advocates for diversity and inclusion.” It will include African Americans and other people of color.

The announcement follows Friday’s revelation that a photo on Northam’s 1984 profile page features someone in blackface and someone in KKK robes. The image has led to a torrent of calls for his resignation.

The probe will determine the yearbook publishing process and the extent of administrative oversight. It will also examine the campus culture

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8 a.m.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has resisted widespread calls for him to step down over a racist photograph that appeared in his medical school yearbook.

The photo on Northam’s profile page features someone in blackface and someone in KKK robes.

He denies being in the photo, even though on Friday he had apologized and said he was in it.

During a news conference Saturday, Northam admitted to wearing blackface while he was dressed as Michael Jackson during a 1984 dance contest in Texas.

Northam said he regrets he didn’t understand “the harmful legacy of an action like that.”

After he spoke, both of Virginia’s U.S. senators said they called Northam to tell him that he must resign, as he had “irrevocably broken the trust Virginians must have in their leaders.”

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