Politics

Virginia Democratic Party Accepts $50,000 From Northam’s PAC

Previously called for him to 'immediately resign'

Virginia governor Ralph Northam / Getty Images

The Democratic Party of Virginia has accepted $50,000 from Virginia governor Ralph Northam's political action committee since early August after previously calling for Northam to "immediately resign."

Northam received swift backlash and calls to resign from Republicans and Democrats alike in early February after a page in his medical school yearbook surfaced showing a man in blackface standing with a man in a Ku Klux Klan outfit. He initially apologized and said he was "deeply sorry" for the decision to appear as he did. He backtracked the next day and claimed, "I believe now and then that I am not either of the people in this photo."

At least 13 Democratic candidates distanced themselves from Northam and some called for him to resign in early 2019, but they would later accept tens of thousands of dollars from Northam's PAC, The Way Ahead, the Washington Free Beacon reported. The Democratic Party of Virginia is no exception, as it called for him to "immediately resign" and said, "He no longer has our confidence or our support."

The Virginia Democrats accepted two $25,000 donations from Northam's PAC on Aug. 2 and Aug. 26, according to campaign finance data on Virginia Public Access Project.

While they accepted the money from Northam's PAC, they refused to accept a $2,500 donation from Virginia lieutenant governor Justin Fairfax's (D.) We Rise Together PAC in April for a table at the Democratic Party of Virginia's Blue Commonwealth Gala fundraiser. Shortly after the Northam controversy, Fairfax was publicly accused by two women, Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson, of sexual assault. Despite pressure to resign, he repeatedly denied the allegations and called one of them a "smear."

In addition to the $85,000 Northam's PAC gave to 13 Democratic candidates earlier this year, it gave an additional $117,500 to 11 Democratic candidates following the state's legislative primary elections, totaling over $200,000 to Democrats since the yearbook incident.