Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) called on his successor Ralph Northam (D) to resign late Friday after Northam admitted he appeared in a picture showing a man wearing blackface and another dressed in a Ku Klux Klan robe.
“This has been a heartbreaking day. Ralph Northam is my friend and he served well as my Lt. Governor and as Governor. His actions on display in this photo were racist, unacceptable and inexcusable at any age and any time,” McAuliffe tweeted.
“The situation that he has put himself and the Commonwealth of Virginia in is untenable. It’s time for Ralph to step down, and for the Commonwealth to move forward,” added McAuliffe, who left office last year.
This has been a heartbreaking day. Ralph Northam is my friend and he served well as my Lt. Governor and as Governor. His actions on display in this photo were racist, unacceptable and inexcusable at any age and any time.
— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) February 2, 2019
McAuliffe remains a juggernaut in Virginia politics and could have a particularly large sway over Northam’s response to mounting calls to resign.
The Congressional Black Caucus and Virginia Legislative Black Caucus both issued statements Friday night calling on the incumbent Virginia governor to step down.
Northam apologized Friday night for appearing in the picture from his 1984 medical school yearbook, though he resisted initial calls to step aside.
“I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now,” he said in a statement.
The photo obtained by the Virginia Pilot and other outlets on Friday came from a yearbook housed in the Eastern Virginia Medical School library.