Source: Northam Holds 'Urgent Meeting' with Top Staff Amid Calls to Resign - NBC4 Washington

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Source: Northam Holds 'Urgent Meeting' with Top Staff Amid Calls to Resign

Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax was not present at the meeting, sources said

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Governor Clings to Office as Political Support Evaporates

    With almost no political support left, Gov. Ralph Northam is clinging on for his political career. News4's Darcy Spencer reports. (Published Monday, Feb. 4, 2019)

    Virginia's Democratic governor, Ralph Northam, convened an "urgent meeting" Sunday night with top staff and administration officials of color to discuss his next steps, amid intense pressure from within his own party to resign over a photo of someone in an offensive costume in his 1984 medical school yearbook, a source told NBC News.

    Northam denies being in the yearbook photo even though he had apologized for it Friday and said previously that he was in it.

    A source connected with the Democratic leadership in Virginia told News4 that the meeting with Northam started at 6 p.m.

    Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax was not present at the meeting, sources told News4 and NBC News.

    Fairfax would succeed Northam as governor should he resign, and would complete the rest of Northam's term which is set to end in 2022.

    Earlier Sunday, the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus said Sunday that Northam "still does not understand the seriousness of his actions."

    California Rep. Karen Bass, a fellow Democrat, said she thinks Northam is being "dishonest." She told NBC's "Meet the Press" that the Virginia governor knew this picture was there and could've been open about it decades ago with African-Americans that he's close to.

    Northam worshipped Sunday at his home church, the predominantly black First Baptist in Capeville, but otherwise kept out of sight as calls intensified for him to step down.

    Northam faces an overwhelming number of calls to resign, including from the state's attorney general Mark Herring, both of the state's Democratic senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the Republican Party of Virginia and both Democratic caucuses in the state house and senate.

    National figures, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Vice President Joe Biden, as well as Democratic presidential hopefuls including former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro and Democratic Sens. Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand, have all called for Northam to resign.

    Stay with News4 for more details on this developing story.

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