As these old photos resurfaced this past week, another Virginia Democrat was accused of sexual assault.
Virginia's elected Democrats and most of the Democrats hoping to run against President Donald Trump in 2020 swiftly joined calls for Northam to resign after he took responsibility for a photo on his 1984 yearbook page showing one man posing in blackface with another in a Ku Klux Klan costume.
The scandals were kicked off after Northam made comments about late-life abortion, and Collins said Thursday that the time has come in the United States to "understand there are certain things that are wrong".
"With 114 editions of The Bomb available online dating back to 1885, I am not surprised that those wanting to engulf Republican leaders in the current situations involving the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General would highlight the yearbook from my graduation a half century ago", he said in a statement.
Virginia's two US senators and seven Democratic congressmen released a joint statement saying the sexual assault accusation must be investigated, and Herring must continue to have "in-depth discussions" if he is to regain the public's trust. He was described as having "earnestly reached out to each of us to apologise and express his deep remorse" and to be holding "in-depth discussions with leaders and others in Virginia".
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Green said the refusal of Virginia's governor and attorney general to resign after admitting to wearing blackface "is but a symptom of a greater syndrome that now plagues our country as a result of not acting on President Trump's bigotry", the Hill reports.
"Democrats at the top are killing the Great State of Virginia", the Republican president tweeted on Thursday. The newspaper reported that the managing editor of the yearbook was none other than Virginia Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R).
Legislators in Richmond, the state capital, continued to go about their business amid hushed speculation that more politically damaging personal history would be exposed.
Norment is not in the line of succession to the governorship in Virginia. Northam has denied being in the photo, and has thus far refused to step down. Herring, 57, who previously called for the governor to quit, is second in line to replace the governor and has expressed gubernatorial ambitions of his own.
The yearbook reportedly included multiple photos of students in blackface. He noted he was part of a seven-person team that oversaw the yearbook's publication and "cannot endorse or associate myself with every photo, entry, or word on each page". He also said he supported the academy's racial integration that year.