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Ben Jealous, John Delaney join in calls for Virginia governor to resign

Former NAACP president Ben Jealous and presidential hopeful John Delaney, both Maryland Democrats, joined the chorus of people calling for Virginia’s governor to resign after a racist photo from his medical school yearbook emerged.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has lost support from virtually the entire state Democratic party and other key allies, who late Friday urged the governor to leave office because of a racist photo on his yearbook page from more than 30 years ago.

The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, the state House Democratic Caucus and the state Senate Democratic Caucus all called on Northam to resign, along with several key progressive groups that have been some of the governor’s closest political allies.

A Virginia Democrat who has spoken with Northam told The Associated Press that the governor now does not believe he was in the racist picture in his 1984 medical yearbook and has no immediate plans to resign.

Jealous, who ran unsuccessfully for Maryland governor, tweeted that Northam has shown “a profound failure of character, courage and candor.”

“Governor Northam should resign. Period,” Jealous wrote. “We would not accept such behavior from a Republican. How can we from a Democrat?”

Delaney, a former Maryland Congressman who is seeking the 2020 presidential nomination, also said he would counsel Northam to step down.

“We can not unsee what we have now seen,” he said in a statement, “which is a picture of Gov. Northam posing in a racist photo.”

These calls for Northam to resign came in a wave late Friday, after the Democrat apologized for appearing in a photo in which one person is dressed in blackface and another is wearing a full Ku Klux Klan uniform.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

trichman@baltsun.com

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