RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has rebuffed widespread calls for his resignation after a racist photo surfaced Friday in his 1984 medical school yearbook page. Northam initially apologized for appearing in the photo, but then said a day later that he was convinced he wasn't in it.
This comes as Attorney General Mark Herring — admitted Wednesday to putting on blackface in the 1980s, when he was a college student.
Herring issued a statement saying he wore brown makeup and a wig in 1980 to look like a black rapper during a party as a 19-year-old undergraduate at the University of Virginia
Herring, who plans to run for governor in 2021, is among those who have urged Northam to resign as governor after the discovery of a photo of someone in blackface on his 1984 medical school yearbook page.
A top administration official for Northam says the governor is meeting with staff to hear their assessment of whether it's viable for him to stay in office.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity Monday because the official was not authorized to speak about the matter publicly.
The official said Northam is still trying to determine what's best for the state as he weighs his future.
Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne said he's told Northam the state can't afford a prolonged period of uncertainty over his future.
The pressure to resign facing Virginia Gov. Northam is highlighting the Democratic Party's insistence on policing its own when it comes to wrongdoing related to race and, in some cases, sexual misconduct.
While the Republican Party has frequently shied away from disciplining or expelling its own members, Democrats have largely embraced a hard line.
That stance allows Democrats to draw a stark contrast with President Donald Trump and other Republicans who have made racist or sexist remarks. It's also a response to the demands of an increasingly diverse Democratic Party whose staunchest supporters are African-Americans and women.
A spokesman for the liberal group MoveOn, Karine Jean-Pierre, says they can't criticize Trump and other Republicans if they're not willing to criticize their own.