RICHMOND, Va. – Gov. Ralph Northam told his top staff that he will not resign over the racist photo controversy despite calls from both sides of the aisle to step down, according to a senior official within the governor's administration.
According to the AP, Northam issued the following statement Friday afternoon:
"It has been a painful week for all Virginians, and I am deeply sorry for causing this distraction from your important work. Our Commonwealth is in uncharted waters, and many of you are undoubtedly left confused and uncertain about what the future holds.
I want to assure you that the business of the Commonwealth and our duty as public servants will continue. You are doing that work well and I know that will not change. You have placed your trust in me to lead Virginia forward—and I plan to do that.
Pam and I are grateful for the hard work of every employee in this Commonwealth. You have been in our hearts and thoughts, and we are reminded each day that there is no better place to live and work."
The official says the governor told his Cabinet that he would be staying put during a meeting Friday afternoon. The official was not authorized to discuss the meeting publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Northam has faced widespread calls to step down over after his medical school yearbook page with a racist photo surfaced last week. It shows one person in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood.
Northam said last Friday that he was in the picture. On Saturday, he denied he was in the picture and said he was not immediately resigning but left his long-term fate unclear.
Stay with 10 News for more on this developing story.