House Republicans also call on Northam to step down

The page from Gov. Ralph Northam's medical school yearbook that has ignited widespread calls for his resignation.

Virginia House Republicans added their voices Saturday morning to the swelling chorus calling on Gov. Ralph Northam to step down in the wake of the publication of a racist photo from his medical school yearbook.

House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, and Speaker of the House Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, spoke at a press conference earlier this week on late-term abortions. (Ned Oliver/ Virginia Mercury)

House Speaker Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, Majority Leader Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, and other GOP leaders said in a statement they were “shocked and repulsed” by the image, which they said is “as unacceptable in 1984 as it is today.”

They said they “withheld judgment” while waiting for an explanation from Northam.

“We agree with the powerful words of our colleagues in the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus and believe that because of this photo the governor has lost the confidence of the citizens he serves,” the statement says.

“While we respect the governor’s lifetime of service, his ability to lead and govern is permanently impaired and the interests of the commonwealth necessitate his resignation.”

 

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Robert Zullo
Robert has been winning and losing awards as a reporter and editor for 13 years at weekly and daily newspapers, beginning at Worrall Community Newspapers in Union, N.J., where he was a staff writer and managing editor. He spent five years in south Louisiana covering hurricanes, oil spills and Good Friday crawfish boils as a reporter and city editor for the The Courier and the Daily Comet newspapers in Houma and Thibodaux. He covered Richmond city hall for the Richmond Times-Dispatch from 2012 to 2013 and worked as a general assignment and city hall reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from 2013 to 2016. He returned to Richmond in 2016 to cover energy, environment and transportation for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He grew up in Miami, Fla., and central New Jersey. A former waiter, armored car guard and appliance deliveryman, he is a graduate of the College of William and Mary.