Is the end near for Ralph Northam's governorship?

A town hall meeting being hosted by Virginia Del. Kathy Tran and two other lawmakers was postponed over safety concerns

A town hall meeting being hosted by Virginia Del. Kathy Tran and two other lawmakers was postponed over safety concerns

When the photograph from Northam's Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook surfaced Friday, his first reaction was to issue a statement of abject apology. "No one should've been making fun [of] another race or trying to make a joke out of people's fears of the Ku Klux Klan or the blackface". The photo appeared in his 1984 medical school yearbook.

Fairfax told reporters Monday that the 2004 encounter with a woman was consensual and he called the accusation of misconduct "a smear".

Protest chants, meanwhile, echoed around Capitol Square. Security guards joked about who was going to be the next governor.

A Democratic official told the Post that the meeting was emotional, adding that another meeting will be held on Monday for a larger group of staffers in Northam's administration.

Moran told ABC's "This Week" that Northam's record - including his support of Medicaid expansion and of public schools in minority neighborhoods - shows that the embattled governor is a friend of African-Americans and that he should ride out the storm. Numerous prominent leaders who had already called for his resignation renewed that call. I recognize that it will take time and serious effort to heal the damage this conduct has caused. Nor does it seem to endorse hostility to blacks; some blackface displays do, others don't, and it's not clear that this one was understood that way.

After the press conference, which was widely mocked and deemed a complete distaster, calls for Northam's resignation continued to mount, including from Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez. The Republican Party controls both houses of the legislature.

The state Constitution says the governor - as well as other elected or appointed officials - can face impeachment in the General Assembly for "malfeasance in office, corruption, neglect of duty, or other high crime or misdemeanor".

One of the few voices backing Northam on Sunday was former Virginia Rep. Jim Moran, a Democrat who served in Congress from 1991 to 2015.

While talking with reporters, Northam admitted he once used shoe polish to put on blackface as part of a Michael Jackson costume for a 1984 dance contest in Texas, when he was in the Army.

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The scandal threatens to cripple Northam's ability to govern. Northam is adamant to not resign, saying it would be the easy way out in ducking his responsibilities, despite almost the entirety of the liberal establishment calling on him to do so. "He knew this picture was there, and he could've come clean and talked to African-Americans that he's close to decades ago".

"Ralph will do the right thing for the commonwealth of Virginia", McAuliffe said on CNN's "State of the Union".

Asked whether lawmakers could seek to remove Northam, Cox said lawmakers would be hesitant to do so because it would amount to overturning an election.

The quote on the page says, "There are more old drunks than old doctors in this world so I think I'll have another beer". Nelson Mandela, we were hoping would be released. I think blackface is always wrong.

At the time, Haley says, the lessons of the civil rights movement were still fresh in students' minds. The Associated Press is not reporting the accusation because AP has not able to confirm it.

The Washington Post said Monday that it was approached by the woman in 2017, carefully investigated, but never published the accusation.

"I think it is a rush to judgment before we know all of the facts and before we've considered all of the consequences", said Moran, who is white. Northam's office did not immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment.

Northam, a pediatric neurologist, has recently come under fire from Republicans who have accused him of backing infanticide after he said he supported a bill loosening restrictions on late-term abortions.

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