Ralph Northam says 'I'm not going anywhere' despite calls to resign
- Author: Tracy Klein Feb 11, 2019,
Feb 11, 2019, 2:00
Virginia's state government seemed to come unglued on February 8 as an embattled Gov. Ralph Northam made it clear he won't resign and the man in line to succeed him was hit with another sexual assault accusation and barraged with demands that he step down, too.
"At this time, Ms. Watson is reluctantly coming forward out of a strong sense of civic duty and her belief that those seeking or serving in public office should be of the highest character", said Smith, who claims the details of the attack on Watson are similar to the details shared by Vanessa Tyson, the professor who accused Fairfax last week.
The Washington Post-Schar School poll, conducted Wednesday through Friday, found Virginia's broader population to be split evenly about Northam's fate, with 47 percent wanting him to stay and the same percentage wanting him to resign. All 140 legislative seats will be up for grabs in November and Democrats had previously been hopeful that voter antipathy toward President Donald Trump would help them cement Virginia's status as a blue state. Patrick Hope, said he intends to introduce articles of impeachment against Fairfax on Monday if Fairfax hasn't left by then. Since then, the state's No. 3 official, Attorney General Mark Herring, also admitted to appearing in blackface while at the University of Virginia in 1980.
"I overreacted", Northam said, referring to the statement he released that took blame for the photo.
"I think there was an allegation made, right?" the coach told the network after Saturday night's game against Virginia. Both of Fairfax's accusers, Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson, announced over the weekend that they would be willing to testify at an impeachment hearing if called upon.
Northam has been ignoring widespread calls to resign after a photo of a man in blackface standing next to someone in Ku Klux Klan robes surfaced in his 1984 medical school yearbook. Watson allegedly told Adams that the assault happened at a fraternity house: "She said she couldn't speak, but she was trying to get up and he kept pushing her down". It has been an especially devastating time for the great Commonwealth of Virginia.
Northam said he planned to work for the rest of his term to address issues stemming from inequality, including improving access to health care, housing, and transportation.
The developments came near the end of an astonishing week that saw all three of Virginia's top elected officials-all Democrats-embroiled in potentially career-ending scandals fraught with questions of race, sex, and power.
Now, both the lieutenant governor and governor of Virginia are facing mounting pressure from their party, Sabato says, as the future of the Democratic Party in 2020 hangs in the balance.
Northam has refused to step down, despite demands from his peers and adversaries who want him to leave his post. White Virginians are slightly more likely to call for Northam's resignation at 48-46 percent, well within the margin of error of 4.5 percent.