While he has not called for Virginia's Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam to resign over his possible ties to racist yearbook photos, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax told the Richmond Times-Dispatch he is under the "natural assumption" Northam was in the photo, adding "we're at a critical moment right now."
"He apologized for the photographs and also said he had sincere regrets about the entire situation," Fairfax told reporters Saturday, according to the report.
"He indicated that these were photos that did appear on his page for his medical school yearbook. He told me that while he didn't recall the specifics of the event, he apologized, that he had thought that it may have depicted him."
Gov. Northam's recollection of the photos in his 1984 medical school yearbook has evolved amid myriad calls to resign. He wrote an apology Friday night for appearing in a photo depicting two people, one in blackface and one wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe. Then, at a news conference Saturday, said he was not sure it was him in the photo.
"I think he'll have to explain his own comments and his own thinking and recollection," Fairfax told reporters after hearing the news conference hedge, per the report.
Northam's apology to Fairfax came Friday before the calls to resign grew loudest, but Fairfax has made a "natural assumption" the first apology was for actually being in the photo.
"I think part of the reason to apologize and to call me over and to talk through it was because that was the natural assumption," Fairfax told reporters, the paper reported.
Fairfax, who is part time as lieutenant governor, stopped short of calling for Northam's resignation.
"The governor has to weigh all the factors and make a decision that's in the best interest of the commonwealth of Virginia," Fairfax said, per the report.
". . . We're at a critical moment right now."
Fairfax, who would be Virginia's second African-American governor, had reportedly already considered running for governor in Virginia, but he is preparing himself to enter the role sooner, which would allow him to serve now and the one-term after subsequent election to be a rare seven-year governor of Virginia. The state limits its governors to one term.
"I'm a person of faith, so I prayed, for wisdom and discernment and to make sure that if this were something that I needed to do that I was in the right frame of mind to do it," Fairfax said, per the report.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.