Chuck Schumer: It’s ‘Past Time’ Ralph Northam Resigns

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Larry French/Getty Images for SiriusXM, Win McNamee/Getty

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Monday joined the chorus of calls for Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) to resign over a racist photo in his 1984 medical yearbook.

“I agree. It’s past time,” Schumer tweeted in response to a joint statement by Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Rep. Bobby’s Scott’s (D-VA) call for the embattled governior to step aside.

“Governor Northam should resign so Virginia can move forward,” said the Senate Minority Leader.

The trio of leading Virginia Democrats urged Northan to resign after he delivered a bizarre press conference Saturday in which he backtracked on his admission that he appeared in the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook with another male in blackface or Ku Klux Klan garb. During the presser, Northam admitted to wearing blackface as part of a Michael Jackson costume for a dance contest the same year and was ordered by his wife not to moonwalk — a dance move made popular by the music legend — when asked if he could still perform it.

“After we watched his press conference today, we called Governor Northam to tell him that we no longer believe he can effectively serve as Governor of Virginia and that he must resign,” said Warner, Kaine, and Scott. “Governor Northam has served the people of the Commonwealth faithfully for many years, but the events of the past 24 hours have inflicted immense pain and irrevocably broken the trust Virginians must have in their leaders. He should step down and allow the Commonwealth to begin healing.”

On Saturday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) condemned the photo but stopped short of calling on Northam to resign. “The photo is racist and contrary to fundamental American values,” Pelosi wrote on Twitter. “I join my colleagues in Virginia calling on Governor Northam to do the right thing so that the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia can heal and move forward.”

According to the Washington Post, a former classmate of Northam tipped off Big League Politics about the photo, which was first to report on its existence Friday. Hours later, the Virginian-Pilot and the Post verified the photo’s authenticity. It is believed the tip came in response to the Virginia Democrat’s remarks about proposed legislation that would have allowed fourth-trimester abortions. “A concerned citizen, not a political opponent, came to us and pointed this out. I was very offended [by the photo] because I don’t like racism,” Patrick Howley, who serves as Big League Politics’ editor-in-chief, told the Post.

As of Monday afternoon, reports indict Northam has no immediate plans to resign.

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