Northam won't be part of graduations amid blackface scandal
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has withdrawn from plans to be a commencement speaker at his alma mater, Virginia Military Institute, and won't participate in any other graduation ceremonies amid the persisting scandal over a blackface photo.
News outlets report the Democrat is abstaining from graduations throughout Virginia this season. Northam's spokeswoman Ofirah Yheskel said Monday that he decided weeks ago to skip ceremonies over concern he would divert focus from graduates.
Northam has resisted calls to resign since February, when a racist photo surfaced from his 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook. He denies being in the photo but admits wearing blackface while portraying Michael Jackson at a dance party.
New campaign finance records show Northam's fundraising efforts dried up. He also canceled his appearance at a Sunday fundraiser for a state senator.
Related StoriesGroup demands Virginia leaders “make amends” for racism
Virginia AG Mark Herring says he wants to repair harm from blackface
Virginia Republicans offer reward for blackface photo of attorney general
Virginia governor finds ways to get beyond blackface scandal
Lieutenant governor's accuser says she has nothing to gain
GOP: Dems won't hold bipartisan hearing for Fairfax accusers
Fairfax says he’s willing to testify under oath, releases polygraph test results
Lawmakers address scandals in Richmond and 81 legislation at breakfast
Probe into racist photo in governor's yearbook may end soon
New poll confirms voters' disapproval of Virginia leaders